3 FinTech companies helping reduce the financial gender disparity in India
By Leandra Monteiro
Financial independence ensures financial security. However, the relationship between women and finances has remained tricky, at least in India, as society expects men in the family to take charge of the finances. This leads women to largely stay away from making any major financial decisions.
While more and more women in India have started working, at times they still continue to struggle financially, especially in terms of setting up a business. Today women run fewer than 13% of businesses in India. The primary reason for this low representation of women in business is access to finance. Nearly 20% of women entrepreneur’s face rejection by lending institutions, more than twice the rate of 8% for men. Other key challenges that hold back women entrepreneurs include, absence of support networks and financial inclusion.
However, FinTech companies have bridged this gap by specifically offering financial assistance to women, in the form of loans, money management, financial advice etc. Several FinTech platforms have introduced various programs that specially cater to women-focused financial platforms.
Here are three platforms that aim to financially empower women:
LXME named after the Hindu Goddess of Wealth is a woman-first financial platform focused on reducing the financial gender inequality in India. Founded in mid-2020, LXME simplifies money matters for women by creating and facilitating a community of women to engage in conversations that make them confident about gaining more control of their finances and learn from each other as they progress on their financial journeys.
LXME is run by a powerful team of women who’ve made it their life’s mission to create impact beyond measure, led by Priti Rathi Gupta. Targeting women across life stages, lifestyles and professions, LXME enables women with the right knowledge and tools to take charge of their personal finances.
PayNearby, one of India’s leading branchless banking and digital networsk, has announced the launch of ‘zero investment plan’ for women entrepreneurs at the last mile, across 20,000+ PIN codes. This initiative aims to build financial independence among rural women of India by waiving off business account opening fees and thereby inspiring women at the last mile to join the nation building movement. The company aims to on-board 10 lakh+ women entrepreneurs by FY23-24.
With Sashakt Naari, Sashakt Samaaj, Sashakt Desh at its core, the Women Sustainable Employment campaign looks to ensure that every household in India has a woman financially capable of taking care of her family and thus create an empowered society and an empowered nation. PayNearby’s ‘zidd’ is to upskill all women and bring them up the employment curve so that they contribute equally to the growth of the economy, to build a more inclusive and sustainable society.
Tide, the UK’s leading business financial platform recently announced their target of supporting 500,000 female-led businesses, start out by the end of 2027. This move comes on the heels of Tide’s ‘Women in Business’ initiative in the UK and the company’s plan to work as an incubator for women business owners in India. Through this initiative, Tide aims to help women led SMEs start and grow their businesses.
To further power the company’s vision for women entrepreneurs, Tide has also created an internal Women in Business Mentor Panel under their ‘Tide Women Entrepreneurs Mentorship Programme’. The internal panel will feature in-house experts in Leadership, Marketing, Capital Investment, Hiring and Payroll, Taxation, and Legal, among others to provide one-on-one advice and host regular masterclasses, webinars, and AMA sessions for women entrepreneurs.
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