Amidst the pandemic, a surge in the popularity of online upskilling courses was observed, particularly among women. India’s strides in gender diversity are underscored by Coursera’s Women Skills Report, ranking the country second globally for the highest number of women learners. The proportion of women enrolling in courses rose from 26% in 2019 to 36% in 2021, attributed to the pandemic’s impact and the impetus towards upskilling facilitated by online learning.
Edtech platforms addressed the need for convenience and flexibility, supporting women in maintaining an optimal work-life balance. Additionally, collaborations between Edtech and Fintech platforms addressed financial constraints associated with upskilling, fostering competitiveness in their respective industries.
Overcoming financial barriers through Fintech
Historically, accessing financial resources has posed challenges for women, especially in funding their education and professional growth. Traditional loan eligibility algorithms, influenced by a lack of assets and minimal formal financial history, may work against women in India. However, Fintech companies are revolutionising lending experiences, making loans easily accessible for aspiring women. Leveraging advanced technology, Fintech platforms have streamlined the loan application and approval process, eliminating obstacles that hindered women’s progress.
Conventional credit underwriting methods often focus solely on a student’s current financial standing, leading to the exclusion of financially disadvantaged students from loan eligibility. In contrast, Fintech financing platforms adopt alternative approaches to assess borrowers’ repayment capacity. They consider not only academic performance but also potential career prospects, offering a more holistic view of borrowers’ ability to repay loans.
By incorporating unconventional risk mitigation strategies, Fintech solutions can extend their services to a larger number of women learners with fewer financial advantages. For instance, evaluating a student’s academic record alongside their institution’s historical performance provides insights into the student’s commitment to higher education. These factors aid in assessing the student’s willingness and capacity to fulfil loan obligations effectively.
Through collaborative efforts between Fintech and Edtech, women can now apply for loans seamlessly, securing funds for upskilling, distance learning, or advanced degrees. This newfound financial freedom empowers women to take control of their education and career paths, bridging the skills gap and staying relevant in the rapidly evolving job market.