British International Investment
14 December 2023

BII investments promote financial inclusion in India

One of the pillars of our impact investment strategy in India is to foster inclusive economic growth. Our partnership with enterprises like Aye Finance and Sitara reflects this commitment to promote financial inclusion.

Sitara, an affordable housing finance company, is dedicated to providing accommodation for underserved and low-income households. Sitara was launched in 2015 with a particular focus on promoting homeownership for women. It is registered with the National Housing Bank and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.

The company has a unique business approach that places the highest importance on achieving social as well as financial impact.

BII committed INR 1,200 Mn of debt financing to Sitara in December 2023, which will enable the company to enhance its loan book, expand operations into new locations, and continue to support women in realising their dream of homeownership through providing access to finance for home construction and home improvements.

Gaurav Malhotra, Director for Financial Services at BII said, “The housing crisis in India has been exacerbated by urbanisation and migration. In cities, many low-income families face challenges due to the nature of the informal job market and poor living conditions. We are delighted to work with Sitara and enable access to affordable housing finance, particularly for low-income households and women, to build safer and better homes.”

Aye Finance is one of India’s leading microenterprise lenders providing working capital loans to micro-enterprises. Since its launch in 2014, it has transformed the MSME lending landscape to meet the unique needs of India’s thriving yet underserved micro-enterprises community. The lender is committed to easing access to credit for small businesses and has disbursed INR 8,000 crores to the segment since inception, bringing over 700,000 unorganised businesses into the formal lending ecosystem.

Aye uses technology to better manage risk – leaving it ideally placed to provide support for individuals and businesses that have been historically ignored by traditional banks.

Gaurav Malhotra commented “There are over 64 million MSMEs in India and only 11 per cent of micro enterprises have access to formal credit. Therefore, I am thrilled that through partnering with Aye, we are not only helping to bridge this gap but also enabling micro entrepreneurs and their employees to grow their businesses and incomes.”

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