Women entrepreneurs in the Indian startup ecosystem aren’t a myth anymore. Though not frequent as one would have wanted, women entrepreneurs are no more a rare sighting in the Indian startup world. While ideation and innovation hasn’t really ever been a problem for the womenfolk, it’s the finance factor that often plays the spoilsport in them realising their dreams.

In order to provide women stepping into the entrepreneurial world a helping hand when it comes to capital, there are various schemes and loans programmes exclusively structured for businesswomen.

Here’s a list of 9 schemes meant for women entrepreneurs in India:

1) Stree Shakti Package: The Stree Shakti Package is a unique scheme run by the State Bank of India (SBI), which aims to support entrepreneurship among women by providing them certain concessions like no security requirement for loans up to Rs 5 lakh in case of tiny sector units or lowering of interest rate by 0.5 per cent in case the loan exceeds Rs 2 lakh. In order to qualify for the scheme, an enterprise should have more than 50 per cent of its share capital owned by women.

2) Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme: Run by Punjab National Bank, the scheme aims to meet gap in equity. It assists women entrepreneurs in setting up of their new projects in tiny/small scale sector and rehabilitation of viable sick SSI units. Under the scheme, the maximum amount granted is Rs 10 lakhs and the interest depends upon the market rates. These soft loans can be repaid over a period of 10 years.

3) Udyogini Scheme: Sanctioned by the Government of Karnataka in the year 1997-98, the scheme assists women in gaining self-reliance through self employment, especially in the trade and service sector. Offered by Punjab and Sind Bank, the scheme empowers women by providing them loans.

Under this scheme, the maximum unit cost is Rs.1,00,000/-. Age limit for the beneficiary is 18-45 years and family income limit to avail this benefit is Rs.40,000/- per annum for all women including those belonging to SC/ST. The scheme has really made a difference in preventing women entrepreneurs from private borrowing at higher rates of interest.

4) Dena Shakti Scheme: Offered by Dena Bank, the scheme provides financing to Women Entrepreneurs working in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores, or small enterprises. The maximum ceiling limits that can be considered for financing to women beneficiaries under this scheme will be as per the directives of RBI stipulated for various sectors under priority sector such as loans upto Rs 20.00 lakhs under retail trade, Rs 20 lakhs under education and housing and Rs 50000/- under micro credit as well as Bank's specific schemes circulated to branches /offices from time to time.

5) Mudra Yojana Scheme for Women: Launched by the Government of India, the scheme aims to improve the status of women by providing them loans and encouraging them to start new ventures and thereby empowering them by providing a financial security of individual income. Under the scheme, if the loan is approved, the women entrepreneur will be provided with a Mudra card which will function the same way as a credit card however the funds available are limited to 10 per cent of the loan amount granted to you.

The loan, which doesn’t require any collateral security, can be availed as per 3 schemes:

a) Shishu- Under this, the amount is limited to Rs.50,000 and can be availed by those businesses that are in their initial stages.

b) Kishor – The loan amount under this scheme ranges between Rs.50,000 and Rs.5 lakhs and can be availed by those who have a well-established startups.

c) Tarun – The loan amount under this scheme is Rs.10 lakhs and can be availed by those businesses that are well established but require more funds for expansion purposes.

6) Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan: For the uninitiated, the Bharatiya Mahila Bank is the first of its kind in the Indian Banking Industry, which was formed with a vision of providing economic empowerment to women. The bank functions as a support system for women entrepreneurs looking to start new businesses in the fields of the retail sector, loan against property, MICRO loans, and SME loans.

The maximum loan amount granted by the bank is Rs.20 crores for businesses working in the manufacturing industry. The bank also provides women entrepreneurs with a concession to the extent of 0.25% on the interest rate and interest rates usually range from 10.15% and higher.

7) Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme: Provided by Oriental Bank of Commerce, the scheme entails to meet the credit needs of Women Entrepreneurs. In order to be eligible for the scheme, a women has to hold a 51 per cent share capital individually or jointly in a proprietary concern. The scheme which provides a concession on the interest rate of up to 2 percent doesn’t requires collateral security for loans of 10 lakhs up to 25 lakhs. The period of repayment for the loans provided under the scheme is 7 years.

8) Annapurna Scheme: Offered by State Bank of Mysore, the scheme provides loans to women entrepreneurs who are working towards setting up small businesses in the food catering industry. The maximum amount of money that is granted under the scheme is Rs.50,000. The amount granted can be utilised to fulfill the working capital requirements of the business like buying utensils and other tools and equipment.

9) Cent Kalyani Scheme: Conceived and offered by Central Bank of India, the scheme aims to encourage Women Entrepreneurs to start new project or expand/modernise their existing unit. The scheme is targeted at new as well as existing women entrepreneurs for her Micro/Small enterprise ( as defined under MSME Act- 2006) .i.e engaged in manufacturing and service activity for eg. Handloom weaving Handicraft, Food-Processing, Garment making etc. etc. Professionals & Self employed women - Doctors, Chartered Accountants, and Engineers or trained in Art or Craft etc. Health /Beauty clinics/Dieticians/Fashion Designing Beauty Parlors. Small Business-Small lunch/canteen, mobile restaurant, circulating library/ tailoring /Day Creaches for children ,Tailoring, Typing / STD/ Zerox booth etc., Transport Operators- Three wheeler /Four wheeler. Sectors such as Retail Trade, Education and training Institute and Self Help Groups are not eligible for the scheme.

The maximum amount that can be granted under the scheme is Rs. 100 lakhs. The best part of the scheme is, that it doesn’t requires any collateral security or guarantor and charges no processing fees whatsoever.

[Image: Life Unraveled]

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