Pahal bags $12m loan from DFC to support Women-led SMEs
By Gloria Mathias
Pahal Financial Services (Pahal), a microfinance institution dedicated to promoting financial inclusion, has announced its collaboration with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), resulting in a substantial $12 million investment aimed at advancing financial inclusion efforts in rural and semi-urban regions of India.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pahal will access a $12 million loan for up to 8 years, utilizing the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) route. This strategic investment will be dedicated to expanding the microfinance loan portfolio, with a specific focus on women entrepreneurs in rural and semi-urban areas within India.
Pahal has empowered more than a million women entrepreneurs at the grassroots level, and this loan will further extend support to many more women.
Purvi Bhavsar, Co-founder and Managing Director of Pahal added, “We are dedicated to empowering vulnerable women entrepreneurs by equipping them with the essential tools, training, and resources needed for financial independence while also enhancing their ability to navigate unexpected challenges. Our ambitious objectives align with our collaborative efforts on the ground, ensuring a tangible and lasting impact. This partnership will expand the available capital for women-owned and led enterprises, addressing the financing barriers they often encounter.”
James Polan, Vice President of DFC’s Office of Development Credit shared, “DFC is proud to support increased access to financing in India, especially among women entrepreneurs in rural and semi-urban areas. This loan will support the expansion of microfinance lending to women at the base of the pyramid.”
The funds will enhance access to financial services, promote financial literacy, and contribute to the development of a more inclusive financial ecosystem in rural India. This partnership underscores the shared commitment of Pahal and DFC to empower underserved communities and address the financial gap in India’s rural and semi-urban areas contributing to SDGs 1, 5 and 8.
Both Pahal and DFC are dedicated to promoting sustainable, inclusive economic growth, and this $12 million investment represents a significant step toward achieving that goal in one of the world’s most populous and dynamic countries.
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