USAID, DFC Join Hands with Kotak to Finance Women Entrepreneurs, MSMEs

Programme to provide much-needed credit to end borrowers, promote sustained economic growth and women’s empowerment
USAID, DFC Join Hands with Kotak to Finance Women Entrepreneurs, MSMEs
USAID, DFC Join Hands with Kotak to Finance Women Entrepreneurs, MSMEs

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced today that they are jointly sponsoring a $50 million loan portfolio guaranty to Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL) to support increased access to finance for women borrowers, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across India. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, this partnership will help MSMEs that have been impacted by Covid-19 access loans to rebuild and scale their businesses.

Under this program, Kotak Mahindra Bank will provide loans for on-lending to Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) operating in the MSME and Microfinance (MFI) space. This will help provide much-needed credit to end borrowers and will promote sustained and inclusive economic growth. This program will play a crucial role in women’s economic empowerment as at least 50 per cent of the loans are earmarked to be lent to women-led or women-managed MSMEs, or MSMEs that employ a certain percentage of women or that produce a good or service that disproportionately benefits women. It is likely to benefit more than 30,000 individual women borrowers and 7,500 MSME firms.

The program will be supported by Chennai-based NBFC, Vivriti Capital, which will provide a $1 million first loss guarantee, as well as extensive analytical and sourcing support through leading debt platform CredAvenue. The DFC will provide KMBL with a pari passu guaranty, which is financially sponsored by USAID, of up to 50 per cent of the remaining uncovered line ($24.5 million).

D Kannan, Group President – Commercial Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “Kotak Mahindra Bank is committed to the cause of fostering financial inclusion and making credit available from formal sources to MSMEs and women entrepreneurs belonging to lower socio-economic segments. These two segments have been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, and this program will provide credit and help women entrepreneurs and MSMEs to not only scale up their businesses, but also generate employment.”

Veena Reddy, USAID/India Mission Director said, “At USAID, we believe gender equality and women's empowerment are not just a part of development but are the core of development. Women in India have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, facing economic hardships that directly impact the livelihoods of their families and communities. USAID is happy to support this new initiative that will help facilitate access to the much-needed financial resources to women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs and help them reach their full potential.”

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