Access to finance is an insurmountable challenge for entrepreneurs, particularly, women entrepreneurs. Recently in Asia, many women have entered the world of entrepreneurship; they only account for about half of the men involved in starting a business. While this gender gap has been slowly closing over the past two decades, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many sectors and various businesses; women entrepreneurs have been disproportionately affected. The progress made over the last decades needs to continue. Kiu Vietnam together with the UNCDF Women’s Enterprise Recovery Fund are determined to leave no one behind in the digital era, particularly women entrepreneurs.
Kiu has implemented a 360-degree solution to improve data collection and analytics to enhance access to finance across regions in Vietnam. Kiu started to provide an extensive training program to increase digital literacy among women entrepreneurs.
Aside from the gender gap, there is also a wide finance gap among women entrepreneurs especially those in the MSME/SME sectors. In many developing countries such as Vietnam, women entrepreneurs usually need small loans to launch a business while banks are reluctant to provide a loan without any security. And many times, these MSME/SMEs do not have financial records and lack experience of managing a business. In order to bridge that gap, Kiu created a customized credit scorecard aligned with Bank’s regulations and bank/MFI risk policies.This process enables banks and MFIs to MSME/SMEs to minimize risk and increase lending to women owned businesses through the Kiu automated loan system.
Kiu has designed and launched digital solutions such as Kiu BMP, Kiu Mobile App and Kiu Lending to support women enterprises economically impacted by COVID-19 and address their financial and other business requirements.
Kiu BMP is a Business Management Platform that enables businesses to automate their processes such as sales, purchases,and invoicing. Kiu BMP allows many MSME/SMEs to move away from manual transactions providing a more accurate recording of transactions. Meanwhile, those who do not have access to a desktop or laptop can use the Kiu App on their smartphones. The Kiu digital tools enables many women entrepreneurs to digitally apply for loans from Kiu partner banks and FIs.
With the support from the United Nations Women Recovery Fund, Kiu is able to provide a step in narrowing the gender and finance gap in the MSME/SME sectors in Vietnam.