First-time borrowers and first generation entrepreneurs displayed tremendous resilience during pandemic: NeoGrowth Social Impact Study 2021
MUMBAI, India, Aug. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NeoGrowth, India’s leading digital lender serving underbanked SME businesses, recently released the Social Impact Report 2021, which indicated that the company extended 64.5 percent of its loans to first-time borrowers while 84 percent of the total loans disbursed were to first generation entrepreneurs to overcome COVID-related challenges and capitalize on the opportunity.
The study was conducted on a sample from a base of over 20,000 MSMEs across seven cities including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. It aimed to measure and evaluate the impact created by loans in the lives of its customers.
While India grappled with the COVID-19 outbreak and despite the challenging headwinds, NeoGrowth extended its lending to first-generation entrepreneurs, assisted women entrepreneurs, and enabled customers in job creation and improvement of credit scores.
The pandemic disproportionately impacted women, by deepening existing economic and social inequalities, as observed in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021. The company’s loans to women-run or women-led businesses showed an uptick of 32 percent. 4 percent of the total loans disbursed by the company were to first generation women entrepreneurs during the pandemic, thus robustly supporting this section of society.
Almost 85 percent of the customers surveyed were impacted due to business shutdown or low business. 70.6 percent of all customers sustained their business through their own savings, while 10.6 percent opted for a further loan from the company. Interestingly, envisaging a hit to their existing business due to the pandemic, 3 percent of the customers started another business in areas that were booming.
The company advocated and convinced 92 percent of its borrowers to avail of health insurance.
As per the survey, 86.6 percent of the respondents showed an increase in the number of their employees, post availing loans from NeoGrowth.
The process of digitisation was greatly accelerated by the lending sector, which witnessed 38 percent YoY growth as of September 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. NeoGrowth disbursed payments through digital channels, increasing transparency, and assisted customers with the process of digitising their business through its proprietary DiGibizz platform. This is particularly relevant as 22.4 percent of the customers surveyed were not even graduates and 26.5 percent of the MSMEs were from Tier-2 cities.
Dhruv Khaitan, Founder & Chairman, NeoGrowth said, “Mankind has been faced by almost insurmountable challenges but MSMEs have adapted and displayed great resilience. The digital lending model along with customer-centric business philosophy have enabled us to stay close to our customers and empower them with both empathy and resources, to tide over this unprecedented crisis. We are proud of the social impact of our business activities in terms of job creation, assisting women entrepreneurs, improving credit scores and lending to first-generation entrepreneurs.”
These insights form part of an annual assessment conducted by NeoGrowth. Over these years, NeoGrowth has successfully maintained its unique product proposition by providing collateral free, short-term, quick, and customized business loans on flexible repayment terms. Having disbursed loans amounting to more than INR 6,500 crores, NeoGrowth has been funding and enabling MSMEs to grow and sustain their businesses while continuing to tread on its initial journey of achieving inclusive growth. NeoGrowth also focused on driving economic growth by accelerating digitization of MSMEs and strengthening their credit history.
NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd is a Systemically Important, Non-Deposit taking NBFC and a pioneer in SME lending based on the underwriting of digital payments data. NeoGrowth provides finance to small business owners to drive business growth that matches their ambitions. Hassle-free loans are powered by technology innovations and leverage the digital payments ecosystem. It provides financing to retailers, restaurants, apparel shops, kirana stores, petrol pumps, groceries, pharmacies and other MSMEs with flexible repayment options and customized products addressing multiple business needs. It not only helps its customers grow but also drives financial inclusion making a positive social impact. NeoGrowth is backed by renowned investors, namely Omidyar Network, Aspada Investment Company, Khosla Impact, Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund – Quona Capital, IIFL Seed Ventures Fund and Leapfrog Investments.
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