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October 8, 2019

Kinara Capital wins Global Recognition with Gold Award as Bank of the Year-Asia

    AMSTERDAM – Oct 7, 2019 – ​Kinara Capital,​ a fintech leader driving financial inclusion of small business entrepreneurs in India, today won the ​Gold award in the ​Bank of the Year-Asia category, and received an ​Honorable Mention ​in the Women-owned SME Bank of the Year category, at the Global SME Finance Awards ceremony held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    Organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the SME Finance Forum, and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the Global SME Finance Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world. Kinara Capital was nominated by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for this prestigious honor.

    Kinara Capital pioneered small business lending ​without land or property collateral in India. The company offers fast and flexible loans to small businesses in the USD$3000-$30,000 range. Kinara Capital has disbursed USD$200 million across 40,000 loans for Asset Purchase and Working Capital needs of small businesses in the Manufacturing and Trading sectors.

    Hardika Shah, Founder & CEO, Kinara Capital, said, “On behalf of my entire team, our partners and well-wishers, we are highly honored to win the Gold award for Bank of the Year-Asia category. It has been a labor of love and hardwork to build Kinara Capital and we remain motivated by our mission of transforming lives and livelihoods. Today, we are even further encouraged with the support and recognition by the IFC, World Bank Group, and the SME Finance Forum. We especially thank the OPIC team for nominating Kinara Capital.”

    Kinara Capital won the distinction from a competitive pool of 144 international applicants. The company was recognized for innovating on financial inclusion techniques and thus impacting over half a million lives in India with income generation, new job creation, and job sustenance.

    Approximately 90% of Kinara’s customers are new to business credit. In a 2019 report by IFC-Intellecap, the credit gap in India is valued at USD$240 billion where capital needs of more than 80% of SMEs are not served by traditional sources of formal lending. This is the ‘missing middle’ that Kinara Capital is effectively serving.

    A panel of independent judges chose this year’s winners based on their Reach, Uniqueness and Innovation, Effectiveness and Impact, and Dynamism and Scalability.

    The judges recognized Kinara’s credit risk management practice as a good combination ​of ​the old and the new – c​ ombining technology with personalized face-to-face interactions. Kinara Capital held a valuable distinction for building proprietary technology-enabled processes such as digitized underwriting, risk assessment, and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in credit monitoring. The judges cited Kinara Capital’s ability to make longer-term loans to SMEs as a major breakthrough.

    Attendees at this year’s Global SME Finance Forum in Amsterdam represented 80+ countries and over 250 companies.


    Paulo de Bolle, Senior Director, Global Industry, Financial Markets, Global Financial Institutions Group at the International Finance Corporation said: “The Global SME Finance Awards recognize and reward innovation in small business lending that can improve financing for SMEs, helping small businesses grow and create jobs. Innovations in lending technology and business models, can significantly reduce the cost of serving SMEs.”

    Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum said: “We hope the winners of the Global SME Finance Awards will inspire SME financiers all over the world to learn from their good practices. The Awards provide the winners an opportunity to showcase good practices on the global stage and foster learning amongst their peers.”

    Natascha Beinker, Deputy Head of Division at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Co-Chair of the SME Finance Subgroup of G20 GPFI said: “The Global SME Finance Awards put the spotlight on two key issues – responsible innovation and responsible financing, which are an integral part of the financial inclusion agenda. As demonstrated by this year’s and last year’s Awards winners, product innovations can lower costs and allow SME financiers to better serve previously underserved and unserved SMEs, particularly women-owned SMEs.”

    About the SME Finance Forum

    The SME Finance Forum works to expand access to finance for small and medium businesses. The Forum operates a global membership network that brings together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs. Established in 2012 by the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the SME Finance Forum is managed by IFC. For more information, visit ​

    About Kinara Capital

    Kinara Capital disrupted small business lending in India by providing loans without property collateral. Founder & CEO Hardika Shah has built a leading fintech with a women-majority management team. Data-empowered with a human touch, Kinara Capital runs a last-mile delivery model with technology-enabled processes that drive financial inclusion of small business entrepreneurs. Headquartered in Bangalore, Kinara Capital operates from 110 branches across six states in India. It is one of the few non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) qualified as ​Systemically Important by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Kinara Capital has disbursed over USD$200 million to date across 40,000 loans that have led to income generation, new job creation, and job sustenance. For more information, go to ​​ Follow us on @KinaraCapital or visit our ​LinkedIn​ page.

    Written by
    Team Kinara
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