ICICI Bank, India’s leading private sector lender, is planning to double its lending to women self help groups (SHGs) over the next one year.
“Over the next year, we intend to double our reach and support to over two million women with cumulative disbursements of Rs 2,500 crore,” said Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of the bank.
The bank has already lent Rs 1,000 crore to 70,000 SHGs spanning seven states in the last two-and-a-half years. The states include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
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The bank has reached out to a million women who borrow money in groups of 10 to 20 people to start small businesses such as jewellery making, handicrafts or cattle rearing. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the bank handed over a cheque for Rs 1,74,029 to SHG representatives from rural Maharashtra.
The average ticket size of SHG loans is Rs 1.50 lakh while the interest rate is around 14 per cent for tenure ranging between 1-3 years.