SIDBI inks MOU with Jeevika Bihar & UMED Maharashtra, to extend Prayaas Scheme to State Rural Livelihood Missions to ensure over 50 lakhs women of low-income group to get access to affordable credit.

MUMBAI, 20th APRIL, 2024 (TGN): Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in association with Women’s World Banking (WWB) inked an MoU with Jeevika, Bihar State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) & UMED, Maharashtra-SRLM to extend Prayaas scheme to SHG Individual Women through Cluster Level Federations (CLF). This partnership will help in unlocking the potential of Cluster Level Federations and will establish a new and scalable credit distribution ecosystem. SIDBI in the pilot phase will partner 35-40 CLFs across Bihar and Maharashtra with a target of serving affordable credit of up to `2 lakhs to 5,000 Women Entrepreneurs.

Women’s World Banking has been collaborating with SIDBI & SRLMs to develop a market-driven solution that will provide long-term economic stability to Women-led SHG Cluster-level Federations (CLFs). The CLFs are acting as a Partner Institution with SIDBI for this project. WWB is extending manpower support to CLFs on capacity building, reinforcement of Prayaas technical and process know how for successful pilot. It is supported by a grant from MetLife Foundation as part of its commitment to fostering inclusive economic mobility for underserved and underrepresented communities.

SIDBI has earmarked `50 Crores during the pilot testing phase of the proposed model. Once successful, this will be scaled-up to unlock the potential of Women led Cluster Level Federations to act as partners with lending institutions to offer affordable credit to enterprising women members from SHGs. This program entails WWB working on ground with select cluster level federations (CLFs) to identify enterprising individual members of SHGs to avail of individual loans. The loan to borrowers is sanctioned based on Digital Assessment through Straight Through Process (STP).

Mr Sivasubramanian Ramann (IA&AS), CMD, SIDBI said, “Through this partnership with SRLMs, we aim to facilitate affordable credit to aspiring women entrepreneurs from low-income groups and may have experience only in group lending. I am confident that the Individual Enterprise Scheme for SHG Women program will strengthen CLFs and make affordable credit available to enterprising rural women across India to grow their ventures. SIDBI recognises MetLife Foundation’s commitment and support in this journey.”

Ms Abhilasha Kumari Sharma (IAS), Additional CEO Jeevika said, “This partnership will further strengthen our efforts of providing adequate and affordable credit to aspiring SHG Women who are looking for higher growth funding or graduation support. The success of this pilot program will also establish CLFs as potential lending partners and creation of a new distribution model which is gender-intentional, efficient, and scalable.”

Mr. Ruchesh Jaivanshi (IAS), CEO of UMED said, “Our partnership with WWB & SIDBI has ensured that we are unlocking the potential that SHG women have in advancing financial inclusion across rural communities. Be it through advancing BC Sakhis to deliver banking services to the last mile to now, strengthening CLF’s capabilities so women MSMEs can avail affordable individual loans. We are extremely positive of the impact it will have on economically and socially empowering women.”

Kalpana Ajayan, Regional Head-South Asia, Women’s World Banking, said, “Low-income women and women entrepreneurs in India face a huge credit gap to start, run and grow their businesses. This need for credit is even pronounced for rural enterprising women. We are honoured to be joining hands with SIDBI and partnering with Jeevika and UMED to make the Prayaas programme gender intentional. By making CLF members (who are women themselves) responsible to make decisions about deserving women applicants who are worthy of the Prayaas loans, we are hopeful that more women will have access to affordable credit and grow their businesses and that we need more women in the financial ecosystem, especially in the lending space.”  

Mr Ashish K Srivastava, MD & CEO, PNB MetLife, said, “Through this partnership with SIDBI and Women’s World Banking, MetLife Foundation aims to create opportunities to enable financial literacy in India through models of lending that are gender-intentional so that more low-income women and women entrepreneurs across India have access to affordable credit to expand their businesses and income. This project reflects MetLife Foundation’s 2030 DEI Commitments to drive inclusive economic mobility for underserved and underrepresented communities.”Ends/TGN

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