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Government Schemes for Women Entrepreneurs

Considering that women form half of the population, it becomes evident that their economic empowerment is going to have a strong cascading effect on the overall economic growth of Indians, especially those in the lower-income strata. Women generate wealth, which plays a key role in the overall financial improvement of the family. The government of India is extremely focused on increasing the economic prosperity of women in India. This is the reason we have come across a number of women-oriented business promotion schemes in the last few years. Let us look at some of the government schemes for women entrepreneurs. These schemes are offered directly by the government and by government-owned banks.

StreeShakti Package for Women Entrepreneurs

The State Bank of India has the largest banking reach in India. It is, therefore, understandable that they are running one of the best schemes for women entrepreneurs. This scheme is available for any business in which the ownership of a woman is more than 50%. As long as the unit is enrolled in the Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) run by the concerned state government, they can have loans of as much as INR 5 lakhs without any security or collateral. SBI also allows interest discounts of 0.05% on loans, which are above INR 2lakhs.

Annapurna Scheme

One of the most common types of businesses started by women are related to food & confectionary. The biggest reason being that food will almost always be in heavy demand in a country with as large a population as India. The government provides Business Loans up to INR 50,000 through various banks and other agencies. This is a working capital loan and can be used to buy utensils, refrigerators, gas connections, and other related items. There is a one-month gap before loan repayments start, and the loan has to be repaid in a maximum of 36 months. The lenders are allowed to decide interest rates based on market conditions.

Cent Kalyani Scheme

Imagine a Business Loan scheme with interest rates lower than Home Loan Interest Rates! This is the Cent Kalyani scheme on offer by the Central Bank of India. The loan scheme is exclusively for women and allows borrowings of as high as INR 1 crore. Women involved in rural businesses, village and cottage industries, micro, small and medium enterprises, self-employed women, agriculture and allied activities, retail trade, and government-sponsored programs are considered eligible for this scheme. The icing on the cake is that the loan offering does not need any guarantor to sign the loan or collateral to be kept with the bank.

Punjab National Bank Mahila Udyam Nidhi plan

Punjab National Bank is one of the leading banking and financial services companies in India, and they have committed to the empowerment of Indian women entrepreneurs. The scheme brings loans of up to a maximum amount of INR 10 lakh with market regulated interest rates. These loan schemes are available to women who want to open beauty parlours, daycare centers, public transport vehicles, and also cover many other business plans. These are soft loans offered for periods that can span as long as 10 years. The loan scheme is available all over India.

Punjab and Sindh Bank Udyogini scheme

This is a scheme offered for women in the 18 -45 years of age bracket as long as their family income is less than INR 45,000 in a year. However, for women who are widowed, disabled, or destitute, the income limit rule is not applicable. The loan amount is up to INR 1 lakh. SC/ST category women get a subsidy of up to INR 10,000 or 30% of the loan, applicable on the lower amount. General category women get INR 7,500 or 20% subsidy, the lower amount applicable. This scheme is also on offer by Karnataka State Women’s Development Corporation.

Dena Shakti Loan Scheme

Dena Bank is another institution which offers women-specific loan and welfare scheme. Their Dena Shakti scheme provides a loan in categories of agriculture, manufacturing, retail, housing, and education. The loan amount starts under microcredit for as low as INR 50,000 and can be as high as INR 20 lakhs. As a special offer, the bank offers a 0.25% interest rate discount to eligible applicants. The bank has merged with Vijaya Bank and Bank of Baroda who have branches in a number of states where you can check for scheme availability.

Oriental Bank of Commerce Mahila Vikas Yojana

Oriental Bank of Commerce provides a 7 years long loan which can be up to INR 25 Lakhs. The bank offers a 2% interest rate discount. The main eligibility requirement is that at least 51% of the ownership of the business should be with the female applicant. The bank aims to promote women who want to start their own business with this scheme.

Mudra Loan for Women Entrepreneurs

Mudra Loan is the premier scheme launched by the current Prime Minister to improve new businesses and make more people as job givers instead of job seekers. The scheme is gender-neutral and still comes across as one of the best Business Startup Schemes for women entrepreneurs. The loans are available for any amount between INR 50,000 to INR 50 lakhs. The most significant factor of this scheme is that loans of up to INR 10 lakh can be availed without any collateral or security. The interest charged is as low as 1 percent per month, and loan amounts up to INR 50,000 can be repaid in as long as 5 years. For higher amounts, the scheme allows lending bank to decide the period.

Women entrepreneurs can be a great driver to the growth of the economy of the country, and they have traditionally contributed to the upliftment and improvement of the economic situation of their families and communities. Shining examples of these are many women’s self-help groups that are successfully working all over India. Understandably, the government and its various institutions should be working to help as many women start businesses that can help generate employment, provide services to people who are unserved or underserved.

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