Imagine that you own a successful small business. One day, you’re suddenly forced to close — and lose the only source of income for you and your employees — due to the coronavirus pandemic. While you hold out hope that the pandemic will pass and you’ll soon reopen, your bills start to accumulate. Without any income, you’re forced to pay your bills late and damage the credit history that you’ve worked hard to build.

Binu Jose faced this situation in March when the pandemic-related lockdown forced him to shut down his transport company in Bengaluru in Southern India. Binu decided to seek a loan to help him sustain his business until he could reopen again. But without a source of income, he struggled to pay his bills, and his credit score declined. His poor credit history from these negative accounts prevented him from getting a loan approved so he could keep from closing permanently.

One day, Binu came across an advertisement from our partner CreditMantri while browsing social media. Intrigued by CreditMantri’s services, he researched further. He learned how CreditMantri’s credit improvement service could help him get his credit back on track and decided to subscribe. His credit improved once CreditMantri helped him resolve his two negative accounts, to Binu’s great relief. “I thank CreditMantri for this much-needed support while in need,” he says. Once he was able to secure a loan, Binu’s transport business could weather the lockdown period and reopen. He hopes that more small business owners in need of credit support will discover CreditMantri’s services so they can get the financial support they need to make it through the pandemic.

CreditMantri is a fintech that educates and enables Indian consumers to understand their credit wellness and help them work on it so they’ll be eligible for loans. To date, CreditMantri has served more than 10 million individuals and small businesses in India. “At CreditMantri, our focus is to solve for the needs of the ‘credit invisible’ consumers and small business in India. The last seven months have been particularly challenging for these consumers, with their livelihoods and living getting impacted. Our response to this has been to direct our energies towards educating our users about their repayment options and choices they have, and guide them to make an informed repayment decision, keeping in mind their unique circumstances,” says Gowri Mukherjee, CEO and co-founder of CreditMantri. By helping people like Binu who’ve fallen on tough times during the pandemic, they’re ensuring that more small businesses will make it through this crisis.

We’re proud to recognize Gowri Mukherjee with Accion’s 2020 Claugus Award for her exceptional leadership and innovation in financial inclusion. Learn more about the award and our honorees, Gowri and Luz Urrutia, CEO of Accion Opportunity Fund.

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2023 Annual Report