Entrepreneurs require access to timely and accurate financial information to make informed business decisions. However, many small business owners lack the technical skills to maintain financial records, and the process is time-consuming. They rely on recall rather than record. Innovations in computing technologies have helped in replacing error-prone and bulky manual bookkeeping practices with computerised accounting systems, available even on phones. Such cost-effective apps also offer services such as invoicing, inventory management, follow-up services for receivables and producing financial statements.
In India, mobile phone usage has filliped due to affordable devices and low-cost mobile data. It has also become a source of information and is used for obtaining education, healthcare and financial services digitally, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Solutions for Transformative Rural Enterprises and Empowerment (STREE), LEAD is testing the efficacy of adopting digital ledgers by women entrepreneurs associated with the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP), implemented by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
This baseline report presents insights from the implementation sites on the entrepreneurial profile, phone use patterns, and bookkeeping practices before the intervention rollout.