Established in 2014, Aye Finance is registered with the Reserve Bank of India as a systemically important non-banking financial company. Aye Finance is the only pan-India player catering to the needs of micro-enterprises and is the largest unsecured lender in the segment.
Kirana stores account for approximately 88 percent of the retail sector in India – a significant contribution to India’s GDP. But while Kirana stores are a mainstay of the Indian economy, the nature of Kirana businesses, their location, and insufficient working capital forces them to operate at a very small scale.
Aye aims to address Kirana sector issues by developing a model to accurately estimate monthly sales of a business, as part of the credit underwriting for their ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) product. Aye’s BNPL product is designed to cater to the credit needs of a Kirana owner for procurement of supplies.
Aye Finance has funded nearly 50,000 Kirana stores, 14 percent of which are women-owned. Women entrepreneurs in India face challenges vastly different to those of their male counterparts. To address this gender disparity, Aye Finance is working with CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) to design a targeted product that takes into consideration the unique needs and constraints of women entrepreneurs.
The model, which will be built with support from TRANSFORM, shall be critical in ensuring enough credit is made available to small businesses. Unilever brings a depth of experience in the FMCG sector and is a valuable partner both in terms of maximising the information provided through retail value chains and in providing a competitive edge via a large distributor network that serves Kirana stores across India.
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