Neha Juneja: Closing the credit gap for India’s women entrepreneurs

“India has about 70 million unique women borrowers, which, to put it in context, is about a quarter of our households. Any ease of business here, any ease of credit here, any advancement here is our best shot at becoming a prosperous country.” —Neha Juneja, co-founder and CEO, IndiaP2P

kimberley-tait

Kimberley Tait

Kimberley is a published author with 20+ years of experience leading communications, brand marketing, and content strategy at financial firms including Goldman Sachs. A Canadian, Swiss, and American with a lifelong passion for language, she earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Kimberley is the global head of Antler's brand and content. She is a published author with 20+ years of experience leading communications, brand marketing, and content strategy at financial firms including Goldman Sachs. An alumna of Columbia Business School and Dartmouth College, she has a great passion for language, trail running, all things alpine, and her Welsh terrier Henry.

In 2021, second-time entrepreneur Neha Juneja founded IndiaP2P, a peer-to-peer lending platform that solves a problem fundamentally connected to the country’s future prosperity. Today, many women small business owners—despite being the economy’s highest-qualities borrowers who show the best credit discipline—pay elevated interest costs. 

“It's a big problem that needs a big, bold solution,” Neha explains. “And it's something that really speeds up the pace of progress in many, many ways. So everybody benefits. Credit is important to the growth of any economy, and our economy needs to grow for all of us to be well…to feel more prosperous and secure.”

IndiaP2P ensures the Indian economy’s highest-quality borrowers get access to faster, cheaper capital, while allowing investors to invest directly in this asset class through technology.

The company creates high-yield, diversified investment products composed of curated retail loans from credit-worthy women borrowers. Through these microloans, the company enables retail investors to create monthly, passive income streams and earn up to 18% per annum.

“What we are doing is making credit more efficient,” Neha says. “One of the challenges with identifying yourself as a woman entrepreneur is that people just forget you're an entrepreneur. People over-index on the gender part of it rather than the business merit part of it. But how it works in reality is that women are seen as less ambitious.”

Neha previously co-founded and scaled Greenway, India’s largest clean cooking enterprise, where she developed multiple credit partnerships catering to women borrowers across rural India and sub-Saharan Africa. This work—along with her experiences in finance and engineering over the previous 12 years—inspired her to found IndiaP2P alongside Ravinder Voomidisingh (COO) and Mohit Gupta (CPO).

The gender gap in credit and in the perception of women business owners has concerned Neha throughout her career: “They've kind of stuck with me…why are things this way? But of course with the venture you can fix it. And that's what's most satisfying.”

In 2021, the team raised its first funding round from Antler in India and Neha recently received a non-dilutive Rising Entrepreneurs grant from Microsoft for Startups. Neha points to the helpfulness of unrestricted capital that enables entrepreneurs to experiment faster.

Given the outsized impact IndiaP2P can have on the country, Neha feels the weight of responsibility as she pursues their mission: “We have a very bold vision for IndiaP2P. We realize that it is a business that can have a very positive impact on the prosperity of our country and social progress. It’s a big responsibility on our shoulders to make sure we succeed, and succeed in the right way.”  

Learn more about IndiaP2P, a peer-to-peer lending platform that’s closing the credit gap for women entrepreneurs in India.

Learn more about Antler’s partnership with Microsoft for Startups to support women founders everywhere.

Read Antler’s second annual ESG and Impact Report to learn how VC firms can build diverse teams and create sustainable value from the outset. 

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