Nepali Startup Khalti Wins United Nations Fintech Innovation Fund
Khalti, a homegrown financial technology startup in Nepal, has won Fintech Innovation Fund from the United Nations. The fund was jointly launched by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) earlier this year. After being announced the winner for the Fintech Innovation Fund, Khalti is rolling out a special project in July 2019.
After being announced the winner for the Fintech Innovation Fund, Khalti is rolling out a special project within July 2019. The project will support women-led micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in 12 different districts across the nation, from Sankhuwasabha in the east to Darchula in the west. Women involved in Dhaka Weaving to Allo Processing and Weaving to Food Processing will be supported as part of this project. With this project, Khalti aims to solve gaps between production and sales of goods produced by 3500 women involved in MSMEs in Nepal.
The project intends to deliver financial and digital literacy and skills to women-owned, managed or led MSMEs by bringing all the MSMEs to a digital platform and upgrade their current style of working. Khalti will be providing them necessary training to be self-sufficient and help them in expanding their business and resources. Khalti is partnering with SAARC Business Association of Home Based Workers (SABAH Nepal) to implement the project. Furthermore, Khalti is also mobilizing Smart Chhoris to assist the MSMEs.
Over the next year, UNESCAP and UNCDF will provide financial and technical support for Khalti to conduct the project and introduce digital and financial solutions that improve access to finance and enhance operational efficiency of these women-led MSMEs.
Elated by this achievement, Arvind Sah, Director of Khalti shared, “Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are a vital source of employment and a significant contributor to the country’s GDP in Nepal. However, most MSMEs have been facing difficulty in accessing loans and other financial services."
“We are building a hyperlocal market in Khalti platform and conducting marketing and sales of goods produced by the women and enabling payments of goods directly through Khalti app. And, on the basis of their monthly income level, we will recommend for loan from our partner bank so that they can expand their business. This project offers payment solutions and improved access to finance to the women-led MSMEs in Nepal.”
Through Khalti’s innovations: hyperlocal market and bulk payment processing system, the women-led MSMEs will be able to connect with their end users directly and receive payments on their mobile phone. The project seeks to uplift the livelihood of women involved in MSMEs in Nepal.
Basanta Kumar Dhakal