Financial Schemes to Promote Women Entrepreneurship

To step out of the jungle of social taboo and patriarchal mind-set and to run a business is a huge challenge for women. But to finally win the aforesaid war and cross the hurdle of financial vulnerability is even a bigger challenge for women entrepreneurs in India. To make the business eco-system women friendly and boost their participation in entrepreneurship, the government has introduced several banking schemes which are designed to augment women entrepreneurship and make provision for easy and cheap financial aids. These banking schemes come with features such as flexible lending terms, discounted interest rate, fewer or no collateral security, workable repayment conditions, etc.
Listed below are different types of banking schemes available for women in business.

1.    Stree Shakti Package for Women Entrepreneurs is offered by SBI, for women having 50% or more ownership in the business. Plus, 0.50 % concession in interest rate on loans exceeding ₹ 2 lakh and no collateral security is required up to ₹ 5 lakhs. Women entrepreneurs are also offered extra concessions if they are trained and certified in the specified business. Also, training, development programmes and awards are given by SBI to promote women’s participation in the business eco-system.

2.    Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan is designed to assist women entrepreneurs in retail and manufacturing sector. This public sector scheme provides loan up to ₹ 20 crores for expansion, working capital needs and manufacturing purposes. Small enterprises are granted collateral free loan at concessional interest rates up to ₹ 1 crore. Repayment term is maximum 7 years. Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan also offers plans like-
·       Shringaar- Available for self-employed women who want to set up their own beauty parlour. They can utilize the loan amount for working space, working expenses, equipment and stocks.
·       Parvarish- Parvarish is available for self-employed women, aiming to set-up day care and crèches. Loan up to ₹ 1 crore is easily available for women entrepreneurs.
·       Annapurna- This scheme could be availed to start or expand business related to food industry, for example, catering, restaurant etc.

3.    Cent Kalyani Scheme is run by Central Bank of India and is available for expansion of existing business and establishment of new micro/ small business. Loans are offered to businesses under broad categories like cottage industry, agriculture, small and medium business, retail trade and government financed programs. Loans can also be availed for fields like canteen, farming, food-processing, beauty parlour, handicrafts, STD/ Xerox booths, mobile restaurant, tailoring etc. Maximum loan limit is ₹ 1 crore, with zero collateral security and repayment term of maximum 7 years. Interest rate for the loan depends on the market rate.
4.    Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme is offered by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Punjab National Bank. This loan favours women entrepreneurs who want to establish small scale businesses, having maximum limit of ₹ 10 lakh. Repayment term is 10 years, including 5 years of moratorium period given by SIDBI. This loan can be utilised in businesses like beauty parlour, day care, purchase of two-wheelers and auto rickshaw etc.
5.    Mudra Yojana Scheme comes under the umbrella of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, offered by nationalised banks. With no collateral security up to ₹ 10 lakh, the loan amount can range between ₹ 50,000 to ₹ 50 lakh. The amount can be invested in businesses like tuition centre, beauty parlour, tailoring entity and more. This scheme has three different plans-
·       Shishu- Loan up to ₹ 50,000 can be availed under this plan with repayment term up to 5 years. Under this plan, interest rate levied is minimal 1% per month or 12 % per annum.
·       Kishore- Well-established businesses can apply for loans ranging between ₹ 50,000 to ₹ 5 lakh. Repayment term, interest rate and other terms depend on the lending bank and credit history of the applicant.
·       Tarun- This advance level loan scheme grants monetary assistance between ₹ 5 lakh to ₹ 10 lakh to established businesswomen for investments and expansions.
6.    Dena Shakti Scheme is offered in the sectors like manufacturing, retail stores, agriculture, and small enterprises. The upper limit for this loan is set to a maximum of ₹ 20 lakhs in the areas of housing, trading, education, and retail industry. Also, a concession of 0.25% in interest rate is also given to women entrepreneurs.

7.    Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme is offered by Oriental Bank of Commerce. It is available at concessional interest rate up to 2 %, with 7 years of repayment term. Women, who hold 51% share in a joint enterprise unit can avail this loan between ₹ 10 lakh to 25 lakh, without any collateral security.
The above-mentioned public sector banking schemes offer an equal opportunity to women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the start-up boom in India. Here are a few of the advantages offered by these schemes.

1.    Minimal or zero collateral security make women-oriented schemes very lucrative. This increases the risk appetite of women entrepreneurs, who can fearlessly work on their projects. Schemes like Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana, Bhartiya Mahila business loan, and Mudra Yojana are one of the best to avail for business needs.
2.    Expansion of any business under the mentioned schemes is achievable for women entrepreneurs. They can avail loans like Cent Kalyani Scheme for material, stocks, infrastructure, extra vehicles and much more. This added advantage at concessional or negligible interest rates reduces financial burden and leaves room for further investment in the business.
3.    Flexible lending terms and conditions serve in a positive manner for women entrepreneurs, who are trying to prove their mettle in the business world. Schemes like
Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana with hassle-free processing and a longer repayment term reduces the worries on financial front and increases the confidence of women entrepreneurs in financial institutions.
4.    Concessional interest rate on loans increases the profitability and the investment margin in business. Loans like Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme and Cent Kalyani Scheme focus on building up the small-scale businesses by offering low rate of interest.
5.    Micro-credit is available for smaller needs/ investment under various schemes. Credit as low as ₹.50, 000 can be availed under schemes like Udyogini, Mudra Yojana, and Mahila Udyam Nidhi.
To sum it up, presently women entrepreneurs have many financial aids at their disposal which are cheaper, flexible, and hassle-free. These financial aids reduce the dependency on others and assist women entrepreneurs in establishing, running and expanding their own businesses.
– Sumaiya Khan


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