Survey reveals tier-2 women taking more loans to fund their business than those in metro cities
The entrepreneurial streak and the ability to break the glass ceiling are higher among women in tier-2 cities than their counterparts in metro cities. A little over 22% of women in tier-2 cities take loans to fund their businesses compared to 12% in metros.
While an impressive 77% of women in both segments contribute to household income, women in tier-2 cities contribute a higher share of income. Interestingly, when it comes to spending, women in tier-2 cities rank household expenses as top priority, while women in metro cities give top priority to lifestyle and travel expenses.
These were some of the significant findings of the second edition of the #WorkingStree survey of women borrowers conducted by IndiaLends, an online lending platform, in the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8.
The survey — which was carried out among 8,500 working women in the 25-40 age group in both metro and non-metro cities — provided a broad overview of their personal and financial goals as well as their health and leisure spending habits. Additionally, while the survey revealed that 28% of working women in tier-2 cities relied on their spouses for financial guidance compared to 19% of working women in the metros. It was also noted that women are increasingly taking over the financial reins, around 66% women in metros and 48% women in tier-2 cities said that they take their own financial decisions.
In other findings, 28% of respondents utilized nearly 45-50% of their salary for investment, wherein tax-saving instruments such as mutual funds (ELSS) and PPF were their preferred modes of investment. When it came to applying for loans, additional capital for business, wedding, home renovation and purchase of electronics and gadgets were the primary reasons. Interestingly, 58% of all respondents were aware of their credit scores.
In the area of health and leisure, it was noted that health was not a top priority for a majority of women with over 50% women going for a health checkup only if the need arises and only 18% women manage to take out time every day in a week for their fitness and health. When it came to spending on leisure and personal care, women in both metros and non-metros said that they spent 25-30% of their income on food, entertainment, gym, salon visits etc.
IndiaLends Founder and CEO Gaurav Chopra said, “The #WorkingStree 2.0 survey of working women across India resonates with the UN’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day — I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights — which aims to advance gender equality by removing the multiple obstacles they face both in their personal and professional lives. Our extensive survey reveals how women in metros and tier-2 cities are becoming more and more financially aware and independent, it also tells us ways in which we can help them overcome barriers vis-à-vis jobs, finance, decision-making and spending. Using the insights we garnered from this survey, we will work towards creating a financially inclusive and supportive environment that gives both salaried and self-employed women greater freedom to make their own financial choices — and eventually enable them take charge of their lives.”