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Government Funding Schemes For Women Entrepreneurs

Updated: Jul 15



A woman-owned business faces myriad problems and financing is one of them.  The “she is a woman, what will she know”, attitude often puts women entrepreneurs at a disadvantage in funding opportunities. In order to offset such concerns and to promote entrepreneurship among women, the government has come up with a number of funding opportunities. Government banks have been offering loans at discounted rates under these schemes. We shall be discussing eight such schemes which will help you raise finance as a woman entrepreneur.

1. Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance And Development (TREAD)

TREAD seeks to empower women through trade related training and counselling programmes pertaining to trades, products, services etc. The financial assistance is provided for 30% of the value of the project, while remaining 70% can be availed from banks.

2. Annapurna Scheme

Government under this scheme offers loans up to INR 50,000 to women who have started their own food catering business. This loan amount can be utilized to meet working capital requirements of catering business such as utensils, refrigerators, ovens, cutlery etc. A guarantor is required to avail this loan.  The said loan needs to be paid back in 36 monthly instalments. No EMI is required to be paid in the first month.

3. Stree-Shakti

The Stree-Shakti scheme is run by the State Bank of India. This scheme provides certain interest benefits to women entrepreneurs who own a majority stake of 50% or more in a small business. An additional requirement of availing this loan is that the eligible women entrepreneurs need to be enrolled with the Entrepreneurship Development Programme, started by their respective state agency. A discount on interest of 0.05% is granted under this scheme for loans up to INR 2 Lakhs. Additionally, no security is required to be furnished for loans up to INR 5 Lakhs.

4. Cent Kalyani Scheme

The Cent Kalyani Scheme has been started by the Central Bank of India. This scheme targets both existing and new entrepreneurs belonging to micro or small enterprises such as handicrafts, beauty, food processing etc. Under this scheme, you can avail of loans up to INR 1 crore with a margin rate of 20%. No collateral or security is required. The loan tenure is for a period of seven years.

5. Mahila Udhyam Nidhi Scheme

This scheme is offered by the Punjab National Bank and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). It assists women entrepreneurs in setting up small-scale businesses by advancing loans up to INR 10 Lakhs with a repayment schedule spread over a period of ten years.

6. Dena Shakti Scheme

The Dena Shakti Scheme offers loans up to INR 20 Lakhs and offers a concession of 0.25% on the interest rate. It targets women engaged in agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores etc.

7. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme

Women entrepreneurs who hold a majority share of 51% and above in a proprietorship concern, either singly or jointly can avail of loan under this scheme. No collateral or security is required to avail loans ranging between INR 10 Lakhs and 25 Lakhs. A concession of 2% is provided in the interest rate and the duration of repayment is seven years.

8. Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

A loan of INR 20 crores is offered to women entrepreneurs under this scheme to fulfill their working capital requirements, business expansion and operate their manufacturing activities. Apart from offering a general capital up to INR 20 crores, this scheme also offers special business loans at attractive interest rates. A concession of 0.25% is provided in interest rates for women entrepreneurs. The repayment schedule is seven years.

Hence, as a woman entrepreneur, you have multiple options to choose from. Government has ensured that women entrepreneurs can get at least the working capital to start their business. These schemes will help women entrepreneurs come up in the realm of business. Hence, this women’s day, go ahead and transform your ideas into business, the government has you covered!


#StreeShakti #WomanEntrepreneur #BusinessLoan #SmallScaleBusinesses #TREAD

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