Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills in a business. It is important for micro-entrepreneurship as it allows the micro-entrepreneur to manage the financial parts of his business effectively. Financial literacy can be an important tool for helping micro-entrepreneurs to obtain access to finance and strengthen money management skills.
India lacks in terms of financial literacy; according to a report conducted by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, only 24% of the Indian adult population is financially literate. This can be attributed to inter-state disparities, lack of formal training and awareness. Many self-made micro-entrepreneurs lack knowledge of financial literacy. This is often because they might have not learned it. Financial literacy is not covered by the school or college syllabi, thus it is hard for micro-entrepreneurs to access it. A lack of financial literacy can be a hurdle for many micro-entrepreneurs as they might not be able to efficiently use the money generated in investing for the micro-enterprise. This also makes it harder for micro-entrepreneurs to pay taxes such as GST and to obtain loans from banks as these banks often require proper financial records.
With adequate knowledge of financial literacy, a micro-entrepreneur can make better money-management decisions. He can also take care of bookkeeping, which is necessary for financial records in the future. Financial literacy has become a necessity in today’s world and adequate knowledge of it is necessary for a micro-entrepreneur who wishes to run his business smoothly.
The Micro-entrepreneurship Development Program at Deshpande Foundation offers lessons on financial literacy to aspiring micro-entrepreneurs who may wish to learn more about financial literacy to improve their micro-enterprise. “Karyagara” was established in 2017 with the aim of educating entrepreneurs across various modules in financial literacy such as bookkeeping, basic account maintenance, digital payments, micro-enterprise registration process, and basic GST session for entrepreneurs. This program at Deshpande Foundation has allowed micro-entrepreneurs to grasp concepts and apply them in their micro-enterprises. The financial year 2018-19 saw 221 participants for “Karyagara”. The “Karyagara” program is an eye-opener for micro-entrepreneurs who wish to learn financial literacy and apply it successfully in their businesses.