From Food & Beverage, Fashion & Clothing to Media & Entertainment and in many other industrial sectors – Indi a have nurtured some of the most successful women entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs like Indra Nooyi, Chandra Kochar, and Adhiti have immensely encouraged other budding women entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality. However, a big part of chasing one's entrepreneurial dreams comes with the challenge of accumulating capital for launching the business. The Indian government has realized this necessity, and have come up with a variety of schemes across multiple industrial sectors to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of women entrepreneurs in India. Here are the different schemes and initiatives through which the government of India is giving funding and support to women entrepreneurs:-
1) The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)
The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) was launched by NITI AYOG with the motive of providing an ecosystem for upcoming young women entrepreneurs across the country. NITI AYOG has partnered with SIDBI to promote and implement this initiative. Apart from providing services such as free credit, mentorship, funding support to women entrepreneurs and corporate partnerships, WEP also provides entrepreneurs a platform to share their entrepreneurial journey, stories and experiences. Entrepreneurs who are at the ideation stage of their startups can register under the scheme to avail of its benefits.
2) Bharatiya Mahila Bank
The Bharatiya Mahila Bank was founded with the motive of providing financial assistance to underprivileged women who want to start their own business. In 2017 it was merged with the SBI. In the manufacturing sector, the bank is offering loans as high as 20 lakhs to the women entrepreneurs. The Bharatiya Mahila Bank has the authorization to issue a loan up to 1 Crore without any collateral to be paid. Apart from the manufacturing sector, this bank has permission to give loans to Small scale enterprises and in the retail sector.
3) Dena Shakti Scheme
This loan scheme is a solution for all women entrepreneurs who want to make a business out in the manufacturing and food processing sectors. Under the scheme women, entrepreneurs have sanctioned loans up to 20 lakhs under the category of housing, retail, and education. The scheme also provides concessions of 0.25 percent on the interest rates.
4) Mudra Yojana Scheme
This is one of the top schemes launched by the government of India to enthusiastic women entrepreneurs who are looking to start a small business with minimum efforts such as beauty parlours, retail shops or tuition centres. The scheme does not require any collaterals but it is divided into several schemes that target different stages of businesses. For businesses in the initial stage the maximum loan granted is INR 50,000. For well-established businesses, the scheme offers loan amount which varies from INR 50,000 to 5 Lakhs. And, lastly for well-established businesses looking to expand its operations and geographical presence the scheme offers loans up to 10 lakhs.
5) Annapurna Scheme
This is one of the first schemes introduced by the government of India to uplift the condition of women entrepreneurship in India way back in the year 2000. At present, the scheme is offered by the Bharatiya Mahila Bank. Under this scheme, the government of India provides women entrepreneurs in the food, beverage and catering industry, loans up to INR 50,000. The best part is that the Interest rate of this loan varies according to the market rates.
6) Shree Shakti loan for women entrepreneurs
This is a unique scheme run under SBI to support women entrepreneurship by providing certain concessions. To avail the scheme women entrepreneurs have to first enroll themselves in the Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) – a training program initiated to develop entrepreneurial skills and skills that are required to run a business successfully. This scheme enables women to avail loans at a concession of 0.005 percent on loans exceeding 2 lakhs.
All these initiatives have one thing in common; they were designed keeping in mind the objective of strengthening the position of women entrepreneurs in this country. However, the appropriate implementation of these schemes is easier said than done. The motive behind such initiatives and schemes has always been positive and if implemented successfully it has the potential to change the entrepreneurial landscape in India.