It is a well known fact that women and men do not earn equal pay for the same job. This suggests that women have less financial freedom than their male counterparts. This, combined with factors such as low financial literacy among women and low participation in decision making, indicate that women do not do very well at the time of financial independence.
A DSP Winvester Pulse 2019 survey, in collaboration with research agency Nielsen, reported that only 33 percent of women make independent investments. According to data from the 2017 Global Financial Literacy Center of Excellence study on gender differences in financial literacy, only 20 percent of women understood financial concepts. According to a 2018 World Economic Forum report, the gender gap in economic participation in India is 66 percent.
Nissari Mahesh, co-founder of HerMoneyTalks, says, “Real empowerment only happens when women have financial empowerment and financial freedom.”
HerMoneyTalks co-founder Nisari Mahesh
Need to be financially independent
Nisari was very young when his father taught him to be financially independent. After school, he would ask them to work for the family business and to conduct banking transactions independently at an early age.
Nissari told YourStory,
“At that time I felt that he was very harsh on me. However, I am now benefiting from it. From my career to business and financial planning, I am doing a lot on my own and it is a good feeling.”
Nisari and his co-founder Hemant Gorur, former editorial head of BankBazaar, wanted to do their bit to help disseminate financial literacy to women. This led to her launching HerMoneyTalks in 2019. Nisari commenced operations from Thrissur, Kerala and Hemant in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
One-Stop Financial Platform
HerMoneyTalks started as an information dissemination platform. It later evolved to include advisory, advisory services and conducts workshops on financial planning, taxation and legal aspects, business planning and more. It has conducted workshops on financial literacy for women in colleges, corporates, NGOs, and more.
The startup is now in the process of creating a market for financial products such as investment plans, loans, etc. which cater exclusively to women, which is expected to be launched next month.
When asked about the need for a special platform for women, Nisari says,
“People everywhere are talking about women empowerment, but they are limited to skills and recruitment. Therefore, we created a one-stop financial platform to address and help all their financial concerns.”
According to Nisari, the platform addresses the need to build confidence among women about their finances, create awareness, provide greater access and entrust them to guided purchases. It has also created peer groups and forums for women to meet and interact with both offline and online.
Women at one of the HerMoneyTalks workshops
A step towards financial services
The bootstrapped startup provides both free and paid services for mentoring and advisory services to women. It currently has a community of 25,000 women and is expected to reach one lakh women by the end of this financial year and three lakh women by 2022. It is rapidly increasing its focus to more cities across the country and looks forward to reaching urban and semi-urban women. It also plans to form new city chapters and peer groups in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai.
NISARI aims to provide 360-degree financial services related to women, including finance-related services such as inheritance rights, post-divorce finance, legal advice, women entrepreneurs growing their businesses, business advisors, business plan consultancy, Helping entrepreneurs connect with investors, etc.
“We want to be the ‘Trivago’ of financial services for women where all options and options are available.”
During the Coronavirus epidemic, although Revenue has taken a hit for HerMoneyTalks, a new market facility has been created to use the time. It mentions more than 60 people online, women who have lost their jobs due to Kovid-19 and helped women entrepreneurs gain visibility on its platform. It also held free workshops to help women arrange their finances when the stock markets declined due to the global health crisis.