HDFC Bank, Mastercard, US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and US Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday launched a $100 million credit facility. This is aimed to promote and encourage small businesses in the country to digitise, while also helping Indian businesses, particularly those that are women-owned, to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

“The new credit facility aims to expand lending to small businesses that need financing to maintain and grow their operations, and enable recovery through digitisation, with an emphasis on supporting women-led businesses,” they said in a statement.

Extending nationwide branch network

HDFC Bank will reach beyond its current customer base to make at least 50 per cent of this credit facility available to new small business borrowers, with a goal of at least 50 per cent of the facility being used for lending to women entrepreneurs, it further said, adding that the lender will channel the credit via their extensive nationwide branch network.

Mastercard will provide skills training and education to small business owners on their digitisation options through existing collaborations with the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Confederation of All Indian Traders.

“This initiative is part of Mastercard’s $33 million commitment to enable small businesses in India to recover from the impact of Covid-19,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, DFC and USAID are facilitating the extension of the credit facility by de-risking HDFC Bank’s lending to small business owners.

“This program is part of USAID’s Covid-19 response in India as well as its global Women Economic Empowerment Fund initiative,” it further said.

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