8 Schemes to Support Entrepreneurship in Indian Women

The story of Indian entrepreneurship is having its moment in the sun. The micro and small-scale industries in India are overflowing with innovative ideas and creative solutions to a number of problems.

But, gender gap seems to continue to haunt the entrepreneurial landscape in the country. According to data by Startup India, only 13.76 percent of the total entrepreneurs in India are women. This means that there are just around 8 million female entrepreneurs in the country, where the number of male entrepreneurs in the country has crossed 50 million.

The women entrepreneurship has had its watershed moment with the participation of numerous venture capitalist and crowdfunding sites. Nevertheless, the governments at the central and state levels have also launched financial schemes for micro units. Quite a handful of schemes are launched to boost the women entrepreneurship as well.

BusinessTrends has compiled a list of top 8 business schemes that are strengthening the dreams of ambitious women in the country.

Mudra Yojana Scheme

This general scheme for small units is applicable to women who want to start a small enterprise such as a beauty parlour, tuition center, tailoring unit, etc. It is fairly useful for a group of women who want to startup together.

This scheme provides loans from a sum of Rs 50,000 up to Rs 50 lakh. The loan requires collateral and guarantors only if the loan amount exceeds Rs 10 lakh.

There are three plans under this:

–      Shishu plan (loans upto Rs 50,000 for new businesses)

–      Kishor plan (loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh for established enterprises)

–      Tarun plan (loans between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for business expansion).

Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme

This scheme is launched by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). It provides financial assistance of up to Rs 10 lakh to set up a new small-scale venture. It may also be used to upgrade and modernise the existing projects.

The repayment window for the loans is 10 years. This includes a moratorium period of 5 years. The interest rates on these loans vary according to market rates.

TREAD (Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development) Scheme

This scheme aims to empower women by providing credit to projects, conducting specific training and counselling, and eliciting information on related needs.

The scheme provides for a government grant of upto 30 percent of the total project cost as appraised by lending institutions. The scheme would finance the rest of the 70 percent.

Annapurna Scheme

This scheme is a popular scheme among the women entrepreneurs. It can be availed for starting a food catering unit.

Women can avail a loan of up to Rs 50,000 to purchase kitchen equipment such as utensils and water filters. A guarantor is required to secure the loan under this scheme. The loan has to be repaid in 36 installments.

Stree Shakti Package For Women Entrepreneurs

It is offered to women who have majority ownership (over 50 percent) in a small business. The women applying for this loan need to enrol themselves in the Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) organised by their respective state agency.

An interest concession of 0.05 percent can be availed on loans above Rs 2 lakh under this scheme.

Bhartiya Mahila Business Bank Loan

The scheme was implemented by Bhartiya Mahila Bank which was merged with State Bank of India in 2017.

This scheme provides loan of upto Rs 20 crore for women business owners in the manufacturing segment. Also, there is no need for collateral for loans up to Rs 1 crore. The loans under this scheme are to be repaid in seven years.

Udyogini Scheme

Women entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 45, who are involved in agriculture, retail and similar small businesses, can avail loans up to Rs 1 lakh under this scheme.

This is available for women whose family’s annual income is below Rs 45,000. No income limit exists for widowed or disabled women. In addition to this, a subsidy of 30 percent of the loan is provided for widowed or disabled women from SC/ST categories.

Cent Kalyani Scheme

Offered by the Central Bank of India, this scheme is for women business owners in multiple areas such as agricultural work or retail trading.

Loans of up to Rs 1 crore are sanctioned under this scheme. No collateral or guarantors are required. Interest rates on loans may vary as per the market rates.