Yesterday I was part of a UNCTAD Trade Policy Dialogue that discussed the gender dimensions of financial inclusion. The discussion focused on initiatives and measures, with a view to identifying further needs, gaps and bottlenecks as well as implications for future action.
My own experiences as part of Prakat in enabling SMBs, women entrepreneurs and women led technology organizations have helped me gain insights on some nuances on how financial inclusion is the missing gap in women empowerment. Through empowerment groups like eMERG, Wequity etc that I have been involved with as well as with Prakat, I have worked closely with developing women led enterprises by supporting them with technological impetus, networking support and go-to-market backing. Through these experiences and the observations that we have gained from the past years we have identified 3 key steps that will help women empowerment and inclusion of women led startups into larger business scenarios.
These Key Steps are:
- Strongly advocate the available statistics that funding women-led startups is an increasingly profitable investment
- Build simple and robust technology that will enable financial inclusion of women.
This includes building platforms for enabling women entrepreneurs to open accounts with financial institutions, building solutions that help women assess profitability of their business ideas, platforms that will connect women to source of funding for their businesses. These are extremely important considering the current statistics that women led entrepreneurs get less funding in spite of being able to show good profitability and returns
- Coach and train women businesses on financial aspects, elevator pitches, funding availabilities and risk management techniques
We at Prakat have been working on these key steps and continue to do so. Yet, we would be able to create a bigger footprint only with a collective approach and support from the industry as a whole. Write to us about your thoughts on financial inclusion of women as well as about any joint initiative that we can collaborate on for furthering women empowerment.