Women's Day: How fintech lenders are boosting the rise of women entrepreneurs in the MSME and startup space
There is a need to fight prejudice against women, by going beyond formal education and developing their entrepreneurship skills for better employment. Here is how fintech lenders are helping women entrepreneurs achieve financial independence.
Women are busy breaking the glass ceiling and smashing gender stereotypes across the globe. Today, not only are they spearheading MNCs but also generating work opportunities for others. They now have a much better literacy rate and life expectancy than they had a half century ago and their representation in politics, sports, and business has also increased manifold.
Though there’s no denying that women have been empowered over the decades, a lot more needs to be done. It is heartening to see how some new-age fintech lenders are giving a boost to women entrepreneurs to script their own success stories.
Post-independence, things began changing gradually for women and the principles of gender equality were enshrined in our Constitution. Over the seven decades, many major welfare policies, schemes, campaigns, and rewards like National Credit Fund for Women, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, and many others brought in a sea of change and helped women find their own identity.
This year, Rs 28,600 crore has been allotted for women-centric programmes in the Union Budget, which will definitely help raise the percentage of women workforce at MSMEs, which currently is about 24 percent, with a total employee count of around 11 crore.
The need to encourage women entrepreneurs
The Sixth Economic Census, released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in 2018, stated that women constitute around 14 percent of the total entrepreneurship, ie., 8.05 million of the pool of 58.5 million entrepreneurs. As we can observe, this small percentage highlights the potential for growth.
To help women excel in professional life, we need to provide them with more jobs opportunities and better healthcare facilities and create safer workplaces. An important way this number will rise is if their entrepreneurship skills are motivated. If women are given the right opportunities and proper environment, they can excel by leaps and bounds in different spheres of life.
How fintech lenders help
A significant aspect of women empowerment is financial independence, and no business idea can take shape without capital investment and proper funding.
Increasing demand from the women in India, who have different dreams to become leading women entrepreneurs, has given rise to more and more fintech lenders. Understanding the need of each women entrepreneur and providing her with the right amount of capital with guidance is key.
To make sure that their businesses don’t suffer due to funding delays, a lot of fintech lenders provide quick loan approvals. Most of the loans provided these days are digital loans that are hassle-free and without bulky and branchless documentation. Some lenders also customise borrowing terms and grant sanctions within 48 to 72 hours.
Empowered women empower women
According to a recent World Bank report, women employers tend to hire mostly women but sadly the average employment in women-owned enterprises is a meager 1.67 percent. We believe that this number needs to go up and more women can see a new dawn of equality and self-expression.
Together, the new age fintech lenders can resolve this issue and create opportunities for women entrepreneurs, especially in the MSME sector, so that the national goal of inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development can be achieved.
Recent research by McKinsey Global Institute found out that India could add $770 billion to its GDP by 2025 by simply providing equal work opportunities to women. Therefore, we collectively need to fight prejudice against women, by going beyond formal education and developing their entrepreneurship skills for better employment, and boosting startup ecosystem for financial independence.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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