State level Conference on the topic “Relevance of Financial Literacy in Women Empowerment”

“Behind every successful woman there is tribe of other successful women who have her back”

The veracious message has been conveyed through one day state level conference on “Relevance of financial literacy in women empowerment” organized by PTVA’s Institute of Management on Monday, 26th March 2018 held at ‘Keshavrao Ghaisas’ Auditorium.

In this conference, many financial as well as time management challenges, awareness about opening bank account and its advantages, various Government schemes for entrepreneurs, problems about mindset and confidence were discussed through the two panel session. There are various supportive organizations working on women empowerment like Mahila Ayog, Amhi Udyogini, and other NGOs working on deep understanding of financial aspects about business and by providing correct direction for nurturing them.

It is authentic to say that when women support each other, incredible things happen. On the valedictory note, it cannot be concluded without the quote of Margaret Thatcher that “Any women who understands the problem of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.”

A One Day state level conference was conducted on “RELEVANCE OF FINANCIAL LITERACY IN WOMEN EMPOWERMENT” was organized by PTVA’s Institute Of Management on 26th March 2018.

The topic for discussion for this conference was financial literacy among women, how many women are actually aware of how to channelize their hard earned savings and without any help from external sources how to independently manage their funds. This knowledge is crucial because women are a little away when it comes to managing their finances. The intention was to take one step to help women group to make them know the importance of financial literacy.

Every women has a voice, but they are restricted or the world restricts them. Just financially empowering women is not sufficient, they have to become financially independent as well. Such was the opinion of State Bank of India’s former Chairman Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya. At the one day state level conference conducted by PTVA’S INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT where she was invited as a chief guest she shared her views and gave great examples which indicated how women need to be financially literate. For every women there are 3M’s, they should have Mobility where women are encouraged to move freely, the next is Mobile where women should be able to communicate and learn to make use of digital payments and the last is Money that if women are not aware of how to save it, invest it, use it or grow it, then money is of no use. Without learning and without education no nation has built up its potential and with no wisdom no nation can come “this means when a women becomes literate she educates the whole society so every women of the family should be educated”. “If you make little things change it will make a big difference”. Along with Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya we had our guest of honor, Advocate Parag Alavani where he spoke about how financial literacy is necessary for everyone in the society. He also explained the importance of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, where earlier women found it difficult to carry out small transactions or invest small amounts in banks but with the introduction of this yojana women have actually started making investments and now they are getting valuable returns on their savings.

Session 1

The first panel discussion was on ‘ Women Empowerment and its financial awareness’ was moderated by Shefali Sadhu. Panel members of discussion were Ms Bhagyashree Parikh, Ms Varsha Tawde, Ms Satya Jagannathan.

The discussion started with the traditional and current scenario of women literacy approach. Traditionally men were only earning member in the family, and they used to delegate their part of earning to the female members to manage all expenses for the family. It is also important in case of girl child that their parents are educating their daughters. It is important that their parents should be role model for their children. Along with this, there are few questions raised were whether parents are keen making a girl child financially literate? Is she aware about financial decisions and financial status? How is she looking at herself in the family?

To answer these many questions, mindset is a major challenge for the women empowerment. Empowerment is to get authority to power of life. Here, the point to be considered as a women empower themselves. Traditional mindset can be overcome with the help of self esteem and self worth. As well as, emotional support is expected by women from their family, was mentioned by Ms Varsha Tawde.

Now women in rural areas are being more active and being role model in the family as well as in the society. The financial literacy is not only for the women but also men need to understand their finances well, was mentioned by Ms Bhagyashree Parikh.

Even today many women are suffering from fear and confused about fulfilling paperwork of banks to start their own business. The reason behind it is it is just mindset and matter of time. Women should start with small investment and then go for big ones. For startup, banks provides loans and give proper counselling to upcoming women entrepreneurs. Overall women needs to know about all her documents which she really owns and all other legal norms before marriage and after marriage related to some paternal property rights. A married woman is entitled for the property of her father, so there should be financial literacy, legal literacy and digital literacy. And apart from online shopping, women should be literate about safety, risks and awareness regarding financial transits online.

They have concluded that they can have counselling with NGOs in the promises of the court as well as they can have counselling centers outside the banks, in the NGOs and Co-operative sectors to make women more literate and financially empowered.
Rapporteur – Mrs. Trupti Gupte

Session II

The second panel discussion was on ‘ Women Entrepreneurship and its financial aspects’ which was moderated by Ms. Aparna Padgaokar. Panel memebers of discussion were Ms. Meenal Mohadikar, CA Prachi Ganu and Ms. Aditi Limaye Kamat.

The discussion raised questions in areas of women facing problems in starting a business. Possible solutions given by the panelist emphasized women awareness on financial aspects, which could be achieved with financial awareness of bank loan schemes, networking with people. For an entrepreneur it is important to brainstorm ideas and possibilities, stay updated via networking and manage their finances really well.

Over 13.76% entrepreneurs of the World are from India. The ratio being really less, hence the need is to focus on the areas which can encourage entrepreneurship among women. Reasons for this, firstly many women want to do business but initially they don’t get support from family, hence they get demotivated. Secondly, source of financing is a major issue. Even if a woman has a good plans but if they lack knowledge about bank loans, investments, and various financial schemes offered by Government then their ideas do not get explored. Thirdly women face problems in collateral security while seeking a bank loan.

Now for a woman, it is important to obtain great family support to start their journey as entrepreneur. It’s not just the financial support but overall co-operation rendered by family members. In regards to bank security for loan, Mudra loans scheme is introduced by banks whose highlight is that banks do not demand any collateral securities for loans up to 10 lakh rupees. In order to avail this scheme benefit a strong paper work is required. Women entrepreneurs must have a strong business proposal ready to support their borrowings from banks. Also, they must be aware about the necessary documents or paper work which can help them obtain advantages of various Government Schemes. Women entrepreneurs seeking a bank loan should ensure good CIBIL (credit rating) score.

Another beneficiary scheme discussed was of Udyog Adhaar card where an established business can help small scale businesses pick up 20% of the government orders. This meant that a woman entering into a venture be fully aware of how, when and where to use her capital. Emphasis was on recycling the money. Proper money management, time management and money record whichis aptly taught by every mother is a foundation for a successful business. Profit deposited in the bank is in the form of saving hence saved money, will help money to grow. It is said that balanced decisions and negotiation skills in workforce will give you better performance. One of the famous investment advisor Robert Allen said that, “Future you see is a future you make”.
Rapporteur – Mrs. Shalini Kakkar