Ever since the Government of India has decided that encouraging women entrepreneurs is essential for the economic and social growth of the country, financial institutions have introduced several schemes aimed towards helping this segment.
The objective of such schemes is to provide women entrepreneurs with sufficient support to establish and operate a venture and realize their potential in the process. Through a loan for women and small business loans, these schemes hope to enable women to become independent.
One of the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face is the patriarchal society, wherein they are meant to play a supporting role to men who are brought up to take the leading role. As a result of this social mindset, women are expected to take up domestic responsibilities and face discrimination and loneliness if they step beyond the traditional boundaries.
To transform this outlook, the government of India introduced several women oriented schemes that provide encouragement, and some of the attractive packages are –
Cent Kalyani – What renders this scheme truly attractive is that there is zero processing fee involved, and lenders do not ask for collateral. The recipient of this loan should belong to the rural and cottage industries, farming or msme, and the disbursed funds can be utilized for starting a venture or expanding operations of an existing set-up. Working capital requirement, replacing machinery, upgrading equipment and renovating premises are some ways in which women can use the funds.
MUDRA – Under this scheme, the government of India offers a term loan to various segments of the population like entrepreneurs and start-ups, and women are also eligible to apply for it. The scheme and its three categories, namely Tarun, Shishu and Kishor, can be sought by women all over the country regardless of the region, and provides a concession in the interest rate. With comfortable repayment tenure and no requirement of a collateral, this scheme can truly provide a financial boost to women.
Shringaar & Annapurna – Beauty and catering are two sectors that are women oriented, and it is with this in mind that the Shringaar and Annapurna schemes have been introduced. While Shringaar enables the woman entrepreneur to set up a beauty parlour or any related business, Annapurna facilitates setting up of a catering service that can dispatch lunch boxes to customers. Both schemes are convenient as they do not require a collateral and repayment tenure is also comfortable.
Shakti Scheme – The biggest advantage of this scheme is that it spans multiple sectors, ranging from education and retail to agriculture, housing and so on. That being said, the maximum amount of funds disbursed depends on the sector in which it is meant to be utilized, although lenders offer a discount on the interest rate up to a certain value.
Udyogini – Women who wish to explore their entrepreneurial potential in the trading and services sector can avail of this loan at affordable interest rates. However, to be eligible for this loan, applicants need to be below a certain bracket of annual income. That being said, this scheme is ideally suited for women who wish to move towards self-reliance while seeking funding from trusted sources.
Taking a business loan for women accrues several advantages, primary among which is that it does not require a collateral. In addition, lenders provide support by disbursing this loan within the shortest possible time, so that it can be effectively used for both short-term as also long-term financial commitments.
From a woman’s perspective, small business loans ensure that funds are always available while on the go, which in itself is a reassuring factor. With funds within reach, cash-flow risks are suitably minimized and this greatly reduces the stress on the woman entrepreneur.
Given the unbiased loan approval process of these schemes, women can capitalize on the opportunity and realize their true potential as an entrepreneur, thus breaking free from the shackles of traditionalism.