Kajol Taneja

The author is Intern with BW Businessworld

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Delhi Based Startup Which funded over 15,000 women micro-entrepreneurs.

Driven by the vision to serve society, this Social Impact Startup, is assisting women micro-entrepreneurs reach the market and gain independence.

Arth, a social impact startup  is working with a vision to rethink the way micro-entrepreneurs in rural India get financial assistance for working. The startup delivers credit for small and micro-entrepreneurs, and provides livelihood welfare services with an emphasis on financing rural women micro- entrepreneurs and micro-merchants.

Founded in 2015 by Shweta Apremeya, the  Delhi-based endavour came up with a first-of-its kind credit underwriting tool, which is built on large, existing micro-enterprises’ data, including socio-economic, geographical, and demographics parameters. 

Arth follows a neo-rural-finance model which is a blend of deep branch network upheld by end-to-end digitial processes to offer its services to micro-entrepreneurs in rustic territories. These digital processes in turn are user-friendly and permit a versatile identification of customers.

With 10 branches and access to 3.5 million micro-entrepreneur, the startup has expanded rapidly since it was setup. Covering nearly 600 villages across northern locales of India, utilizing mobile phones to originate loans in villages and with service in over 500 areas this social impact startup until now has delivered Rs 25 crore worth of micro credit to micro women entrepreneurs in rural areas. Furthermore the startup has raised funding lines from impact lenders for around Rs 20 crore and a small angel round for growth. 

 In the following year and a half, the startup intends to enter new geologies across India with its branch model and make its social welfare assistance administrations more profound. 

"The model is built for scale, and the economics is dependent on the volume of the outreach to rural women. The more number of women that take micro credit and financial services products from us, the more it helps us make revenue and reach financial viability," Shweta says. 

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