Digital & Financial Literacy

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One of the key challenges for the marginalized community in India, is Digital and Financial Literacy. They are deprived of many benefits and information about many government schemes relating to insurance, pension, health and finance. Also, now using a smartphone is no less than using a computer. A person with a smart phone and internet can do multiple businesses sitting at home. For the above reasons, the Government of India too is spreading awareness about this.
Despite massive growth in account opening, there is evidence that India’s digital finance push is having limited impact due to account dormancy and low levels of usage. 48% of people with an account at a financial institution made no deposits or withdrawals from that account over the past year. Account dormancy is higher among populations with lower access to technology, such as poorer and rural populations. Major challenges remain around the viability of agent networks, digital & financial literacy, the design of appropriate products for India’s diverse population, and the stickiness of demand for cash as a means of payment and jewelry and livestock as savings tools.

With this program,

Often on ground, we have come across many such small businesses that are informal, solo-run and/or family owned with very limited human and capital resources. Lack of sufficient financial and digital literacy that curtails use of technology for business management, leading to inefficiencies and subsequently, impacting profitability. No standardized bookkeeping practices, resulting in poor visibility on cash flows, DSO etc. Consequently, there is a poor understanding of business metrics like margins, input-output map, cost loading etc. That micropreneurs is a perennial cycle of underperformance and dwarfism. In addition, with no proper ledgers and transactional/accounts data, small businesses are locked out of the formal credit markets and e-commerce, that push them into a debt trap with informal lenders, and/or inhibit business growth in the long run.

With this program, we conduct training sessions for such communities and micropreneurs, where we teach them various digital tools like using UPI, Maps, Money Management apps, a few social networks and shopping applications, where they too might be interested to present their small business. Of course, simultaneously, we also provide them with knowledge about the Banking structure of India, various types of accounts that they can open for savings and for business, the insurances they need and prevention of digital and financial frauds.

We have seen that these communities are extremely interested in gaining this knowledge, which does make our classrooms full of knowledge hungry people. Our target is to spread this knowledge to as many micropreneurs as possible, so that they can eventually increase their income for a better standard of living.