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7 Indian Government Initiatives To Help Women Entrepreneurs Smash The Glass Ceiling

Are you a female entrepreneur or do you aspire to be one? Do you know a woman who aspires to be a successful entrepreneur? If so, this is the article for you.

Even though women still have to overcome hurdles in their homes and in society while attempting to become entrepreneurs, there has never been a greater time in India. The government has initiated initiatives to make it easier for women to set up their enterprises. This article will cover the 7 Indian Government Initiatives To Help Women Entrepreneurs that can be leveraged to set up and grow your business. as a female entrepreneur.

1. Bharathiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

Bharathiya Mahila Bank was established for women who dream big despite a lack of resources. It offers loans of up to ₹20 crores to female entrepreneurs looking to start a manufacturing business. If the loan amount sought is less than ₹1 crore, collateral is not required.

Even after the Bharatiya Mahila Bank amalgamated with the State Bank of India, the loan programme that began in 2017 remains in place. To apply for the loan, visit the nearest bank branch or call the bank representative at 011- 47472100.

2. Mudra Yojana Scheme

Mudra Yojana is a scheme that might benefit women seeking to start or expand their small business. Though this  is not a scheme designed exclusively for women, it is highly beneficial. Women entrepreneurs can apply for a loan ranging between ₹50000 to ₹10 lakh. It is ideal for setting up beauty salons, starting a small shop, or running a home-based business. You don’t need any collateral or a guarantor to apply for this loan.

The scheme is divided into three categories:

  • Shishu: loans up to  ₹50,000/-
  • Kishor: loans above ₹50,000/- and up to ₹5 lakh
  • Tarun: loans above ₹5 lakh and up to₹10 lakh

Many female-run businesses have benefited from this scheme as it is easy to avail. You can find the application form to apply for this loan at this link. You can also approach any leading bank to apply for a loan under this scheme.

3. Dena Shakti Scheme

Dena Shakti Scheme is a scheme that provides loans for women entrepreneurs in the following sectors:

  • Partnership firm business
  • Retail stores
  • Manufacturing sector
  • Microcredit organisations
  • Housing
  • Education

If you are planning to start a business in any of the above industries, you can use this scheme. The maximum loan limit is ₹20 lakhs, and the loan you can apply for will depend on which sector you are applying under. The interest rate is set at 0.25% below the base rate. To apply for this loan, visit the nearest Dena Bank Branch. The bank representatives will provide you with the application form, and guide you on how to fill and submit the form along with the required documents to avail of the loan.

4. Udyogini Scheme

Want to start a business but have nothing to begin with? Worry not. The Udyogini Scheme is specifically for those women who come from a family with an income of below ₹1.5 lakhs per annum. You can avail a loan of up to ₹3 lakhs at a very low-interest rate. Widowed, destitute, or disabled women can apply for a loan under this scheme.

The idea behind this scheme is to help women from economically struggling backgrounds to become self-sufficient. While the Karnataka State Women Development Corporation started the Udyogini Scheme, many banks have adopted this scheme with variations. To apply for this scheme, you can either visit the website or the nearest branch of the numerous banks that offer it. Some banks offering this scheme are Bajaj Finserv, Punjab and Sind Bank, and Saraswat Bank.

5. Cent Kalyani Scheme

Want to start or expand your SME? Cent Kaylani is a scheme by the Central Bank of India for women like you. Under the scheme loans, up to ₹100 lakhs are sanctioned without any collateral or processing fees.Except for self-help groups, retail trade, and educational and training institutions, every other type of business is eligible under this scheme. For more details and instructions on how to apply for this scheme, you can contact the Women Entrepreneur Cell on 022 66387777. You can also visit the nearest Central Bank Branch.

6. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme 

The Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme was launched by Punjab National Bank and is geared towards supporting Small Scale Industries (SSI). The scheme aims to promote modernisation and technological advancement in these small scale industries by providing hassle-free loans.The maximum loan amount that is sanctioned under this scheme is ₹10 lakhs and the borrower gets 10 years to repay the loan. That includes a moratorium period of up to 5 years. Here is the application form for this scheme. To avail the loan you can fill up the form and submit it to the nearest Punjab National Bank branch. Many other banks like SBI also provide similar schemes.

7. Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)

The government of India, through NITI Aayog has started an initiative called the Women Entrepreneurship platform that brings together women entrepreneurs and sponsors willing to support them, all in one place.

If you are a budding women entrepreneur, you can join this community.

At WEP the following benefits can be availed – 

  • Incubation and acceleration program for businesses in their initial stages
  • Skill training and mentorship programs to learn about entrepreneurship and leadership
  • Assistance in marketing
  • Support for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations
  • Funding and financial assistance
  • A community and network of like-minded women.

These are just a handful of the best schemes now in place to help ambitious female entrepreneurs take the first step toward financial empowerment.

The Bottom Line 

While women-owned businesses generate 8-10% more revenue than male-owned businesses of the same age in the same industries, only 5% of women-owned businesses receive venture capitalist funding, compared to 77 percent of male-owned businesses, and it is this gap that the government is attempting to close with these schemes. There has long been no doubt that women are just as capable of business success as men, but societal barriers have always been significant, and these programmes aim to help overcome those barriers and build a stronger nation with a true free-market economy.

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