Indian Government is promoting start-ups to encourage women to become self-employed, and thus, several initiatives have been introduced to make the women of our country empowered.  Many women in our country aspire to become financially independent by using their entrepreneur business ideas productively but lack the financial resources. The Government and banks are now trying to bridge the gap by encouraging more women to come up with newer start-up ideas and create employment opportunities for others. I have listed some of the major schemes that women can benefit greatly from. Here’s a look:

  1. Annapurna Scheme

The scheme is introduced by the State Bank of Mysore for women who wish to set up food catering business by selling packed meals, snacks, etc. The amount can be used for fulfilling the working capital needs. Under the loan, a guarantee is required along with keeping the assets of the business as collateral security. The maximum amount granted is Rs.50000, which is to be repaid in instalments within 36 months.

  1. Stree Shakti Package

The scheme is offered by most of the SBI branches to women, who have a 50% share in the ownership of a business and have taken part in the EDP programs run by State agencies. The scheme offers interest rate at discount by 0.50% if the loan amount is more than 2 lakhs.

  1. Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

The loan is aimed towards women entrepreneurs who wish to venture in the retail sector, loan against property, MICRO loans, and SME loans. The maximum loan amount is 20 crores for manufacturing industries and a concession of 0.25% on interest is available. The interest rates begin at 10.15% and higher. There is no need for collateral for loan up to 1 crore.

  1. Dena Shakti Scheme

The scheme is offered by Dena Bank for women entrepreneurs in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores, and small enterprises, who need financial assistance. The loan amount is 20 lakhs for retail, education, and housing and 50000 under microcredit. The interest rate is also decreased by 0.25%.

  1. Udyogini Scheme

It is offered by Punjab and Sind Bank for women involved in agriculture, retail, and small businesses to get loans at concessional rate and flexible terms. The loan is granted to women between the age 18 and 45. The maximum amount is 1 lakh p.a. and 45000 for CS/ST women.

  1. Cent Kalyani Scheme

The scheme is introduced by Central Bank of India for women who are involved in village and cottage industries, micro, small, and medium enterprises, self-employed women, agriculture and allied activities. It requires neither collateral security nor guarantor and the maximum loan amount is 100 lakhs.

  1. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme

The scheme is launched by Punjab National Bank and aims to support women entrepreneurs involved in small-scale industries. It offers loans that can be repaid within 10 years. The scheme has different offers for beauty parlours, day-care centres, buying auto-rickshaws/ two-wheelers, cars, etc. The maximum loan granted is 10 lakhs, and interest is charged based on market rates.

  1. Mudra Yojna Scheme

The scheme is aimed at individual women who wish to start businesses like beauty parlours, tailoring units, tuition centres, etc. The loan needs no security and can be availed under 3 schemes:

  • Shishu loan: The amount is limited to 50000 and can be availed by businesses in the initial stage.
  • Kishor: Loan amount ranges from 50000 to 5 lak, and well-established enterprises can avail it.
  • Tarun: loan amount is 10 lakh and can be availed by established businesses that need more fund for expansion.

  1. Orient Mahila Vikas Scheme

The scheme is offered by Oriental Bank of Commerce to women who hold 51% share capital individually or jointly in a proprietary concern. Collateral security is not required for loans between 10 lakhs to 25 lakhs and the repayment period is 7 years. A concession rate of 2% is given on the interest rate.

  1. Stand-up India Scheme

The scheme is launched by Government in 2016 for promoting self-employment amongst SC/ST women by giving loans in the range of 10 lakh to 1 crore.

I believe these schemes will accelerate the growth of small and medium scale businesses led by women entrepreneurs and motivate more women to capitalize on the opportunity provided by our Government. My advice for women entrepreneurs is to explore these options thoroughly, contemplate and apply for a loan based on their requirement.


Take care

Himja Rana

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