Top loans and schemes for women entrepreneurs

The Indian government is trying its best to encourage the growth of startups in the country. From beauty to bakeries, and from IT to travel, a lot of entrepreneurs are coming up to explore the lesser explored sectors. In fact, they have been able to turn it into profitable ventures. It is a great misfortune that despite the rapid growth and development of the country, the number of women entrepreneurs is sadly still low. Barring a few women who have managed to stand out, a lot of women still continue to a minority in the otherwise expanding entrepreneurial space.

There are multiple reasons behind these sorry figures. The patriarchal set up of the society rarely lets women step up and take the lead. Moreover, a lot of women lack support from their own families. The list of troubles does not end here. Lack of financial capital makes the path even more difficult for women entrepreneurs.

Luckily, the government has not turned a blind eye to these issues. It has launched a number of schemes and loans to help all the women entrepreneurs out there. This will help them to set up their own business and follow their dreams.

Annapurna Scheme

Under this scheme, women entrepreneurs who want to start up their own food catering business can get a loan of up to INR 50,000 by the Indian government. This amount can be used to purchase working capital requirements. These include utensils and cutlery, refrigerator, working tables, gas connection, etc.

One will need to have a guarantor to avail the loan. Business assets will have to be pledged as collateral for the same. The loan amount needs to be repaid in monthly installments over a period of 3 years. The interest rate applicable depends on the market rate and also the bank in consideration.

Stree Shakti Package for Women Entrepreneurs

This unique scheme was launched by the SBi to support women entrepreneurs in their endeavors. Under this package, women entrepreneurs are offered certain concessions, and the scheme applies to all those women who have majority ownership in any business. Additionally, the borrower needs to be necessarily enrolled in the Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) of her respective state agency.

Through this scheme, women can avail an interest concession of 0.05 percent on loans that are greater than INR 2 lakhs. Additionally, no security is needed for a loan up to the value of INR 5 lakhs in the case of small sector units.

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Cent Kalyani Scheme

The scheme was launched by the Central Bank of India. Both existing as well as new entrepreneurs and self-employed women can avail this loan. It applies to all those women who want to start their own micro or small enterprise for activities like handicrafts, farming, food-processing, beauty, canteen, garment making, circulating libraries, mobile restaurants, day crèches, STD/Xerox booths, tailoring units, etc.

Loans up to INR 1 crore are sanctioned under the scheme, with a margin rate of 20 percent. The borrower does not need any collateral security or guarantors to apply for the loan. The interest payable will depend on the market rates, and the tenure can be a maximum of seven years.

 Mudra Yojana Scheme

This general scheme is designed for small units, and women entrepreneurs can take full advantage of the scheme. This is offer by nationalized banks under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. Women entrepreneurs can use the loan amount to set up their own business, such as a beauty parlour, boutique, tuition center, tailoring unit, etc.

Under the scheme, one can avail loans between INR 50,000 and INR 50 lakhs. Also, there is no need for collateral or a guarantor for loan amounts which are less than INR 10 lakhs.

The scheme is divided into three plans.

The Shishu scheme will grant you a loan of up to INR 50,000 for a new business. The rate of interest for the same is 12 percent per annum. The repayment period for the same is up to 5 years.

The Kishore scheme will grant you a loan amount between INR 50,000 and INR 5 lakhs for a well-established business. The interest rates depend on the bank, and also on the credit history of the applicant. The repayment period is also subject to the discretion of the bank.

The Tarun scheme can fetch you a loan between INR 5 lakhs and INR 10 lakhs. This can be used for the expansion of your business. The interest and repayment guidelines are again the same as the Kishore scheme.

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Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

The scheme was initially launched by the Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB), and was then merged with State Bank of India in the year 2017. Under the scheme, women entrepreneurs can apply for a loan of up to INR 20 crores to meet their working capital needs or expand their business. The scheme also offers special business loans with exciting interest rates, and collateral free loans of up to INR 1 crore. Additionally, women entrepreneurs are offered with a 0.25 percent concession in the interest rate. The repayment tenure is also quite flexible, and the loan amount needs to be repaid within seven years.

Different plans under the scheme include the following.

The Shringaar loan can be availed by self-employed women or housewives who want to set up their own parlour, and need funds to either purchase equipment or meet their daily business expenses. No collateral is required under this loan scheme.

The Parvarish loan also applies to self-employed women or homemakers, but to those who want to set up their own day-care creches. A maximum of INR 1 crore can be availed under this scheme, with no collateral security.

The Annapurna loan is decided for all food entrepreneurs between the age of 18 and 60 years. The loan amount can be used to either start or expand the food business.

Gone are the days when women were held captives of a patriarchal society. Or they were restricted by the limited opportunities available to them. With the help of these lucrative schemes and financial aid, women entrepreneurs are ready to take a step forward. They too can now set up successful ventures of their own.

Muskan Ahuja
Muskan Ahuja
A blabberer on loose, Muskan is a prolific reader and writer, who loves to contemplate about life and everything in general. An entrepreneur in the making, she dreams of opening her own book cafe one day.

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