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Kinara Capital secures investment for HerVikas discounted loan program for women entrepreneurs

By Leandra Monteiro

March 09, 2021

  • India
  • Kinara

Kinara Capital, funding, India, FinTech, MSME, HerVikas

Kinara Capital, a FinTech driving MSME financial inclusion, today announced securing INR 520 million from Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) to promote 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. This partnership between IIX and Kinara Capital is expected to generate an incremental income of INR 3.2 billion for women entrepreneurs.

“The investment from IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond Series in our HerVikas program brings fresh impetus to the need of 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% to India’s GDP,” said Hardika Shah, Founder & CEO, Kinara Capital. “IIX is a trailblazer in gender lens investing and we are immensely honored to be a part of its ecosystem to create sustainable impact by advancing 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’re 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. This initiative supports women-focused enterprises in India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines that are directly enabling women to respond to, recover from, or rebuild their livelihoods in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In India, Women-owned businesses are about 20% of the 60+ million MSMEs. However, the majority of these remain in the micro category. With data-driven credit decisioning, Kinara is working towards ensuring a bias-free risk assessment of women business owners. Moreover, the FinTech company will host customer meets and digital workshops providing useful tips and information in vernacular languages to help women entrepreneurs scale their business.

Kinara Capital’s HerVikas discounted loan program is available in 90+ cities across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and UT Puducherry.

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