5 government schemes for budding women entrepreneurs

Here is a list of different schemes and credits by the government for women entrepreneurs
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According to the sixth economic Census by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, women comprise around 14 percent of the total number of entrepreneurs based in India. A study carried by the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) ranks India 52nd out of 57 countries surveyed, while a 2018 World Bank report ranks India 120th among 131 countries in terms of female labour-force participation.

While there are many accidental entrepreneurs in the country, many others are driven by a particular mission or objective. And while entrepreneurship is never an easy path, it is all the more arduous for women entrepreneurs - right from funding to equal access to markets and more. Running a successful business is no easy accomplishment, and so, addressing the most pertinent needs of women entrepreneurs and exploring solutions is the need of the hour. 

To boost women-owned businesses in India and promote women entrepreneurship, the government has announced various schemes for women-led businesses in particular. Here’s a look at different schemes and credits meant solely for women entrepreneurs

Bharatiya Mahila Bank commercial loan scheme

The Bharatiya Mahila Bank commercial loan is for budding business women who want to start a new business in real estate or a small and medium enterprise (SME) in retail. Female entrepreneurs are given a highest loan amount of up to Rs. 20 crores. A discount of 0.25 percent can be additionally availed on this business loan scheme. The interest rate on this loan sum is normally 10.15 percent or more.

There is also the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE), launched by the government to make collateral-free credit available to the micro and small enterprise sector, where there is no requirement for collateral security for a loan of up to Rs 1 crore. In this scheme, credits up to Rs. 20 crore can be approved for manufacturing enterprises driven by women. The loan is to be repaid within seven years and comes with specific elasticity.

Dena Shakti Scheme

The Dena Shakti Scheme is meant for financial support of female entrepreneurs, where a loan amount of upto Rs. 20 lakh can be availed for horticulture, retail exchange, education, and housing. Other than that, a micro-credit of up to Rs. 50,000 can also be availed under micro-credit schemes. An interest rate of 0.25% is fixed below base rates for women entrepreneurs who are majority stakeholders in the company, and loan repayment for the credit is 7 years. 

Loan applications can be made by filling out an application form and submitting the necessary documents at any Dena bank office. 

Udyogini Scheme  

The word ‘Udyogini’ means woman entrepreneur. The Indian government’s Udyogini Scheme was launched under the Women Development Corporation,  and it encourages poor women entrepreneurs to receive financial support to start a business. Women between the ages of 18 and 45 and whose annual family income is Rs. 45,000 or less can avail  upto Rs. 1 lakh, under the scheme. However, there is no such cut off for women who are incapacitated, destitute, or widows. Furthermore, women from the SC/ST category will get an allowance of 30 percent of the advance sum or Rs.10,000, whichever is lower. However, women from the general category can get an allowance of Rs. 7,500 or 20 percent of the credit sum, whichever is lower. 

Although the program was initially begun by the Karnataka State Women Development Corporation; many banks have carried out this scheme under various variations.

Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme

The government, through the Small Industrial Development Bank of India (Sidbi), introduced this scheme to engage women entrepreneurs and give them the cash flow to maintain their businesses. The cash provided under this plan can be used in the service, manufacturing, and production areas. Under this plan, businesswomen can get a credit of up to Rs. 10,00,000 for starting a small business. The monetary help provided under this plan can be used to expand a business as well. The loan will have to be repaid in ten years, and there is a moratorium period of five years.

Stree Shakti Scheme

The Stree Shakti Scheme is an initiative by the State Bank of India (SBI) for women entrepreneurs. The scheme aims to empower women entrepreneurs who own and manage retail trade, business enterprises of professional and self -employed like doctors, beauty parlour operators etc. The main criteria SBI looks for is that the enterprise should have more than 50 percent of its share capital owned by women.

A loan amount of upto Rs. 20 lakh can be availed from banks with working capital and term loan facility under this scheme. A concession of 0.50 percent on the interest cost is given by the bank on credits of more than Rs. 2 lakh. Security is not mandatory for credits of up to Rs. 5 lakh. 
Edited by Anju Narayanan

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