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Asirvad Microfinance has announced the closing of a $15 million (Rs 111.15 crore), 7-year commercial loan from WorldBusiness Capital, based in Hartford, Connecticut (USA).

WBC’s loan is supported by the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the US Government’s developing finance institution, a release said.

DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. Proceeds from the loan availed under India’s ECB norms will enable Asirvad to expand its business of providing small loans to low-income women business owners in rural areas to start and expand their income-generating business.

The WBC loan will be Asirvad’s 3rd long-term facility denominated in foreign currency from an international financial institution.

Asirvad Microfinance MD Raja Vaidyanathan said, “This transaction with an international institution coming at this challenging juncture certainly gives a boost to the microfinance sector and reiterates the resilience Asirvad has always shown, and the speed at which it bounces back.”

Asirvad Microfinance CFO Yogesh Udhoji said, “With this funding, we look forward to helping rural women with economic opportunities to transform the quality of their lives.”

WBC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for Eurasia/Africa Lending Rob Monyak said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to support this dynamic financial institution that has constructed a viable business model to meet the needs of woman-owned enterprises operating in rural areas.”

He added, “Asirvad plays a vital role in providing this underbanked segment of the market with access to the financing they need to establish and grow their businesses.”

Asirvad Microfinance Limited, established in 2007 and headquartered in Chennai, is licensed and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India as a Non-Bank Finance Company-Microfinance institution (NBFC-MFI).

Acquired by Manappuram Finance Ltd. in 2015, it is the fourth largest MFI in India today. The company is engaged in the pursuit of empowering and fulfilling aspirations of millions who are excluded from the formal financial system.

Providing loans to approximately 2.6 million women borrowers, Asirvad’s 7,000 employees service clients at more than 1,000 branches in 23 states in India.

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