Empowering Women: E-Shakti's Impact on Self-Help Groups Digitization and Financial Inclusion in India

Aditi Sarawagi *

Department of Commerce, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh- 484887, India.

M. Sanjoy Singh

Department of Commerce, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh- 484887, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The study assesses the influence of the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development’s (NABARD) Project E-Shakti on the digitization of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and the economic position of women in India. The study evaluates the project's outcomes using data from NABARD's Status of Microfinance in India reports from 2007-08 to 2022-23. The number of SHGs credit linked, savings of SHGs, loans disbursed to them, loans outstanding against them, and non-performing assets (NPA) were the variables considered for the study. Trend analysis and correlation were applied to the available data. For the analysis of the data, the Python algorithm was used. The study's findings indicate that Project E-Shakti intensely boosted the number of districts served and SHGs linked to formal finance, reducing their dependency on informal sources. The project also resulted in a significant increase in loan disbursement to SHGs, indicating enhanced financial sustainability and accessibility. The digitization of SHGs improved women's economic conditions by allowing them to engage in income-generating activities. The programme helped to reduce non-performing assets, signifying its beneficial impact on the financial health of SHGs. Refinance to Non-Banking Financial Companies- Microfinance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) showed a boost after E-Shakti but then a volatile pattern was observed in the subsequent years. Project E-Shakti was a success in terms of promoting digitization, increasing financial inclusion, and improving women's economic empowerment in SHGs. To maximize the long-term benefit of digitization programmes, the study proposes increasing their scope, investing in digital literacy training, and enhancing monitoring and evaluation procedures.

Keywords: NABARD, Self-Help Groups (SHGs), e-shakti, digitization, financial inclusion, economic empowerment, microfinance, women


How to Cite

Sarawagi, A., & Singh, M. S. (2024). Empowering Women: E-Shakti’s Impact on Self-Help Groups Digitization and Financial Inclusion in India. Asian Journal of Economics, Business and Accounting, 24(5), 192–205. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajeba/2024/v24i51303

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