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2014-03-12

Women-owned businesses face significant financing gap: IFC report

The financing gap for women-owned MSME businesses in India is about Rs 6.37 lakh crore ($116 billion) or 73 per cent of their total demand, according to a study by World Bank Group member IFC.

The financing gap for women-owned MSME businesses in India is about Rs 6.37 lakh crore ($116 billion) or 73 per cent of their total demand, according to a study by World Bank Group member IFC.

 

The study, in partnership with Government of Japan said that financial institutions (FIs) meet only 27 per cent of the financing demand of women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India.

 

"The total supply of formal finance to women-owned MSMEs in 2012 was around Rs 2.31 lakh crore ($42 billion). This resulted in a finance gap of Rs 6.37 lakh crore ($116 billion), or 73 per cent of total demand," the report said.

 

FIs can meet the demand through products and services tailored for women entrepreneurs, it said. The total financing demand was $158 billion (Rs 8.68 lakh crore) for women-owned businesses.

 

The formal sources of credit supply included public sector banks, non-banking financial corporations, and self-help group-bank linkage programs.

 

There are an estimated 3 million women-owned enterprises across industries, representing about 10 per cent of all micro, small, and medium enterprises in India and employing over 8 million people.

 

Collectively, these enterprises contribute 3.09 per cent of industrial output. Approximately, 78 per cent of women enterprises belong to the services sector.

 

Women entrepreneurship, the report said, is largely skewed towards smaller sized firms, as almost 98 per cent of the businesses are micro-enterprises.

 

"As with the broader MSME sector, access to formal finance is a key barrier to the growth of women-owned businesses, leading to over 90 percent of finance requirements being met through informal sources," the IFC report added.

 

The study further said that FIs can tap this "profitable segment" with products and services tailored to the needs of women-owned MSMEs.

 

It also said FIs should consider options such as advisory desks at selected bank branches to offer information on products and services tailored to women-owned enterprises.

 

Providing non-financial services (NFS) and training, along with access to financial products, will offer holistic growth opportunities to women entrepreneurs, it added.

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