This initiative has been introduced under the CSR program of Payback, a company of Bharat Pay. In 2021, Bharatpe acquired Payback, a multi-brand loyalty program from American Express and ICICI Investment Strategic Fund. According to the Sixth Economic Census of the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, only 13.76 percent of the total entrepreneurs in India are women. That is, only 8.05 million out of a total of 58.5 million entrepreneurs.
With this in mind, the partnership aims to address the issues faced by women entrepreneurs from various parts of India and facilitate a level playing field that provides equal opportunities for growth to women entrepreneurs, the company said in a statement.
As a homegrown fintech, regular interaction with women solopreneurs and small business owners helped to understand the challenges faced from their side. Lack of access to financial knowledge, networking channels, mentorship, and fundraising opportunities is key to such initiatives. Nalin Negi, CFO and Interim CEO of Bharatpay said.
The partnership with the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) aims to facilitate the development of a plug and play digital infrastructure to address existing issues and support the growth of women entrepreneurs, he said.
India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is thriving but needs to help small businesses. He added that women-led businesses still need a lot of support and are unable to do so due to societal biases.
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The Women’s Entrepreneurship Platform is a public-private initiative. It was started with the aim of providing continuous support to women entrepreneurs by leveraging the network of various partners who are part of the ecosystem. According to Bharat Pay, this will help support development and equip women entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to scale up their businesses. According to the 2022-23 annual report of the MSME Ministry, only 20.3 percent of the 6.08 crore monopoly units in the country are owned by women entrepreneurs.
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