WEF India Economic Summit 2019: Equity, Collateral Root Of Funding Deficit For Women Entrepreneurs, Says Arundhati Bhattacharya
Arundhati Bhattacharya, former chairman of State Bank of India and chairman of SWIFT India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

WEF India Economic Summit 2019: Equity, Collateral Root Of Funding Deficit For Women Entrepreneurs, Says Arundhati Bhattacharya

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Raising funds through equity and providing collateral for debt are the root cause of financing deficit that women entrepreneurs face, according to a former State Bank of India Chairman.

Speaking in New Delhi at the India Economic Summit, SWIFT India Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said the stereotype that women cannot handle money also needs to change for more women entrepreneurs to emerge in India.

"In entrepreneurship you need equity in business. For men, it is far more easier to raise money, though women are far better in repaying debt," she said.

Bhattacharya further said when raising finance, women are either a little afraid of the numbers to go ahead and confidently state what sort of growth they were looking in the business for which the funds were required.

Citing the examples of startups, she said "youngsters are saying we will achieve 300 percent, 500 percent growth. I don't see a woman ever doing that and that is not something that gets you the money".

"If you look at the financing gap, one reason is collateral, which is always a problem (for women), specially when you are trying to scale. I think both equity and collateral are things that really are the root of financing deficit that women (entrepreneurs) face."

Highlighting the shortage of women entrepreneurs, Bhattacharya said there were only about 19 percent women entrepreneurs in India and out of which in many of women are "figurative heads and it is actually men who are driving from behind".

"Further, when we looked at the (women) entrepreneurs we found that quite a few of them actually have an issue in the area of finance," Bhattacharya said.

These are basically on account of "stereotypes found across that women can't handle money", Bhattacharya said.

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