Bangalore (Karnataka) [India], March 8 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Kinara Capital, a leading socially responsible fintech driving MSME financial inclusion, today announced securing INR 52 crores from Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) for the advancement of women entrepreneurs in India.
This sustainable investment fund will be disbursed via Kinara Capital’s established HerVikas discounted loan program to an estimated 2500+ women-owned small businesses. The expected impact of the partnership between IIX and Kinara Capital will generate an incremental income of INR 320 crores for women entrepreneurs.
“The investment from IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond Series in our HerVikas program brings fresh impetus to the need for financial inclusion of women entrepreneurs. Empowering women has a strong impact on improving the quality of life for families and achieving gender parity can add 27 per cent to India’s GDP,” said Hardika Shah, Founder and CEO, Kinara Capital. “IIX is a trailblazer in gender lens investing and we are immensely honoured to be a part of its ecosystem to create sustainable impact by advancing women entrepreneurs.” The HerVikas program by Kinara Capital enables ‘her progress’ with an automatic upfront discount of 1 per cent on interest costs on fast, collateral-free business loans in the range of INR 1 lakh to 30 lakhs. Kinara is effectively addressing the inequitable credit gap and related systemic issues by providing access to formal credit, industry knowledge, and personalized customer service to women entrepreneurs. IIX’s CEO and Founder, Professor Durreen Shahnaz, said, “Having supported Kinara in one of their initial equity rounds and having watched the company grow steadily and with impact for nearly a decade, we are proud to invest in Kinara Capital again from the proceeds of the third tranche of the Women’s Livelihood Bond Series. At a time when COVID-19 caused governments, investors, and businesses to turn inward and leave behind millions of underserved women, women-led enterprises like Kinara Capital are spearheading COVID-resilience from the ground up by accelerating financial inclusion and empowering women entrepreneurs to be part of the solution for economic recovery. IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond Series is doing what no one else dares to do – valuing women and making them a part of the global financial system. But we’re not stopping there. We are going to keep pushing the boundaries by continuing to expand the Women’s Livelihood Bond Series so that we create truly systemic change that will outlast any pandemic.” The Women’s Livelihood Bond 3 (WLB3) is part of the USD 150 million Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB Series), a series of innovative debt securities that create sustainable livelihoods for over 3 million women across developing countries. The WLB3 is supporting women-focused enterprises in India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines that are directly supporting women to respond to, recover from, or rebuild their livelihoods in the COVID-19 pandemic. Women-owned businesses are about 20 per cent of the 60+ million MSMEs in India, however, the majority of these remain in the micro category. With data-driven credit decisioning, Kinara ensures a bias-free risk assessment of women business owners. Moreover to addressing the credit gap with collateral-free loans, Kinara tackles systemic bias against women by defying common practices such as asking for the presence of a male relative to apply for a loan. In addition, Kinara hosts customer meets and digital workshop series with useful tips and information in vernacular languages to help women entrepreneurs scale their business. Kinara Capital’s HerVikas discounted loan program for women-owned MSMEs is available in 90+ cities across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and UT Puducherry.