10 Best Schemes for Women Entrepreneurs

February 19, 2024
scheme for women entrepreneurs

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Women have been proving their worth in fields like business that men have long dominated. But they often need help with problems that are unique to them. Problems like investment money or networking opportunities while balancing work and family life.

In 2023, innovative programs for female business owners hope to close these gaps. They help women entrepreneurs in India by providing funding, mentorship, and training. They also aim to conduct various networking events.  A micro-financing program to help a rural woman start a small business. This will help both her finances and the local economy.  Innovation grants to help tech-savvy women. This will aid them in starting businesses and developing their ideas.

The advantages of these plans are many. These schemes for women entrepreneurs will improve their lives. These schemes aim to make a positive impact on society and the economy as a whole. A successful female entrepreneur encourages women to follow their dreams of entrepreneurship. Let’s explore the top 10 schemes for women entrepreneurs scheduled for release in 2023..

Best Schemes for Women Entrepreneurs in India

The Government of India releases many women entrepreneurship programs for women’s welfare. A few of them are:

1. Mudra Loan

The Mudra Loan is under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) or the Prime Minister Loan Scheme for ladies. It is an initiative by the Government of India designed to “fund the unfunded”. It gives special focus to women entrepreneurs under this scheme.

  • Purpose of the Scheme

The Mudra Yojana scheme for women entrepreneurs is to promote entrepreneurship. It financially supports women who wish to start businesses, particularly in non-farm sectors.

  • Eligibility Criteria

Any Indian Citizen can approach a Bank, MFI, or NBFC for availing of MUDRA loans under PMMY. The individual should have a business plan for a non-farm sector income-generating activity. The sectors can include manufacturing, processing, trading, or service sector. The credit needed by the individual should be less than 10 lakhs.

  • Loan Amount & Categories

The maximum loan amount provided under the Mudra Loan scheme is up to Rs.10 lakh. The loan is structured under three categories:

  1. Shishu: Loans up to Rs.50,000
  2. Kishore: Loans from Rs.50,001 to Rs.5 lakh
  3. Tarun: Loans from Rs.5,00,001 to Rs.10 lakh
  • Interest Rate

The interest rates depend on the bank and the type of loan that is being applied for. They are similar to what other banks offer for similar types of loans. There is no subsidy for the loan. A loan can be eligible under MUDRA. This is only if it is linked to a government program providing capital subsidies.

2. Stree Shakti Yojana

The Stree Shakti Yojana is a significant initiative of the State Bank of India (SBI). It helps provide funding for female entrepreneurs in India.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

The Stree Shakti Yojana helps women start their businesses. It gives them access to resources and funding. The goal of the plan is to help women who want to start or grow a business.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

Women must meet one key requirement to avail of the benefits. They must own more than half the capital share in the business. This program is open to businesses in trade, manufacturing, or service industries.

  • Loan Amount:

 The maximum loan amount depends on two main factors. The type of business and the entrepreneur’s financial needs. The scheme gives a 5% discount on the margin and a 0.5% discount on the interest for loans over Rs.2 lakhs.

  • Interest Rate:

 The interest rate for the Stree Shakti Yojana is lower than normal rates. Also, loans over a certain amount get an extra discount.

3. Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan is a unique initiative to empower women entrepreneurs in India.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

The loan caters to the financial needs of women entrepreneurs in India. It provides working capital or fund business expansion plans for Indian women entrepreneurs.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

The business must meet two key requirements. The woman entrepreneur should own a majority stake in a business. Secondly, she should actively participate in business operations. The enterprise could be in the manufacturing or services sector.

  • Loan Amount:

The maximum amount provided under this scheme can go up to Rs. 20 crores, depending on the business’s nature and the entrepreneur’s need.

  • Interest Rate:

 The interest rate is competitive and provides a concession of 0.25%. Yet, the actual rate may change based on the loan’s principal, term length, and other criteria.

  • Other Features:

 This loan scheme provides collateral-free loans up to a specific limit. It also offers a combination of term loans and working capital loans.

4. Dena Shakti Scheme

The Dena Shakti Scheme is a business loan initiative by Dena Bank to support women entrepreneurs in India.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

 The goal is to provide financial help to women entrepreneurs. It helps those involved in agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and small enterprises. It aims to empower women by helping them establish their businesses.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

 Women entrepreneurs owning more than 50% share in a business can apply for this scheme.

  • Loan Amount:

The maximum loan amount provided varies based on the nature of the business. However, the scheme does provide loans up to Rs. 20 lakhs for specific sectors like retail trade, education, and housing.

  • Interest Rate:

The rate of interest provided under this scheme is typically 0.25% below the base rates. This concession makes the loan affordable for women trying to grow their businesses.

5. Udyogini Scheme

The Udyogini Scheme helps women entrepreneurs, especially those who come from poor families, and is an important scheme for women entrepreneurs from economically weaker sections.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

The scheme encourages women to start their businesses. It gives them money to help them get started or expand their businesses.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

 The eligibility criteria for the Udyogini scheme are quite inclusive. Any woman who has crossed their 18th birthday is eligible to apply. However, the scheme prioritizes women from economically weaker sections. These include widows, destitute or differently-abled women.

  • Loan Amount:

The maximum loan amount can go up to Rs.1 lakh for women in rural areas and Rs.2 lakh for women in urban areas. The scheme also provides subsidies on interest rates to women from specific categories.

  • Interest Rate:

 The interest rate is usually lower than the standard rate. Women from certain groups, such as SC/ST or women with disabilities, get extra help.

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6. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana

The Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana is an effort by the Punjab National Bank and the Ministry of Finance. It aims to encourage and help Indian women who want to start their businesses.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

The goal is to help women entrepreneurs by giving them money. 

  • Eligibility Criteria:

Women must own and control the business to be eligible for this scheme. The scheme is open to new and existing units of women entrepreneurs.

  • Loan Amount:

Under the Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana, women entrepreneurs can avail of loans up to Rs. 10 lakhs to start their own businesses or small-scale enterprise.

  • Interest Rate:

The interest rates under this scheme are competitive. This makes it easier for women to repay the loan without straining their finances.

7. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme

This scheme is a remarkable initiative by the Oriental Bank of Commerce. It aims to support women entrepreneurs in India

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

 This scheme for women entrepreneurs aims to empower women by giving money at low-interest rates. It aims to boost the country’s socio-economic growth by promoting entrepreneurship among women.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

 Women must own at least 51% of a proprietary-owned business. This needs to be done either alone or with other women.

  • Loan Amount:

 Under this scheme, women entrepreneurs can avail of loans ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25 lakhs.

  • Interest Rate:

 The scheme lowers the interest rate by up to 2%. This makes it easier for women to start or grow their businesses.

8. Synd Mahila Shakti Scheme

The Synd Mahila Shakti Scheme is a credit initiative by Syndicate Bank. It aims to promote and support women entrepreneurs in India.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

 The goal of this scheme for women entrepreneurs is to empower women by providing financial assistance. It helps empower women by setting up new ventures or expanding existing businesses. The scheme encourages entrepreneurship among women, leading to economic growth and job creation.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

 For this scheme, the women must have at least 50% ownership or be the owner.

  • Loan Amount:

 Under the Synd Mahila Shakti Scheme, women entrepreneurs can avail of loans up to Rs. 5 crores. This scheme allows various business types, from small-scale industries to service enterprises.

  • Interest Rate:

 The interest rate under this scheme is lower than standard rates. This makes it more affordable for women entrepreneurs. The exact rate can vary, so we recommend checking with the bank for current rates.

9. Cent Kalyani Scheme

The Cent Kalyani Scheme is a unique initiative by the Central Bank of India. It aims to support women entrepreneurs in starting or expanding their businesses.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

The goal is to support women entrepreneurs financially. This scheme for women entrepreneurs supports women involved in small or medium enterprises. It encourages women to become financially independent. This scheme helps women establish or grow their businesses.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

 For this program to work, women should own and run the business. The program is open to both new projects and expansions or updates to existing ones.

  • Loan Amount:

 Under the Cent Kalyani Scheme, women entrepreneurs can avail of loans up to Rs. 100 lakhs. This substantial loan amount enables women to undertake more significant business ventures.

  • Interest Rate:

 The interest rates under the Cent Kalyani Scheme are typically competitive. It is based on the bank’s prevailing rates.

 10. Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana

The Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) is a government initiative launched in 1993. It provides self-employment opportunities to educated, unemployed youth and women in India.

  • Purpose of the Scheme:

 The main goal of this program is to help women financially. It does so by giving them money to start new businesses or make their current businesses bigger. The plan helps women start their own companies, which allows the economy to grow and creates new jobs.

  • Eligibility Criteria:

The program is open to educated, unemployed people between 18 and 35, both men and women. Special groups like SC/ST, veterans, and people with physical disabilities get an extra ten years. The person should have gone to school at least through the eighth grade.

  • Loan Amount:

Under PMRY, women entrepreneurs can avail of loans up to Rs. 5 lakhs for business sector activities and Rs. 2 lakhs for service and trade sector activities.

  • Interest Rate:

The interest rate under PMRY is typically per the prevailing market rates. However, the scheme provides a subsidy of 15% of the project cost up to a maximum of Rs. 7,500.

Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

Various challenges which women face aren’t talked about much. Examples are:

1. Juggling between Work and Family Responsibilities

Women entrepreneurs struggle a lot. They are often torn between caring for the family, and their businesses. Women entrepreneurs face the challenge of juggling work and family responsibilities, a delicate balance that demands effective time management. Running a business while attending to household duties and caring for children can be overwhelming.

2. Lack of Educational Opportunities:

Things are getting better but it isn’t true for most women. This is especially true for those who live in rural areas, to receive a standard education.

3. Limited Access to Finance:

It’s hard for women entrepreneurs to start a business. Banks and other traditional lenders often ask for something valuable as a guarantee when they give out loans. It can be a problem for many women who may still have to provide collateral to borrow money.

4. Social Attitudes and Stereotypes:

Sometimes, the way society thinks about women is problematic. Women who start their businesses often require encouragement. They are often unsure of their abilities to run a successful company Another factor that poses a hindrance to women entrepreneurs is stereotypes. Stereotypes regarding women’s leadership abilities and risk-taking can result in investor bias and difficulty accessing funding.

5. Lack of Networking Opportunities:

Making connections is essential for growing a business. However, women often need more opportunities to join networks for entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs often face the challenge of limited networking opportunities. In male-dominated industries, access to influential networks can be restricted, making it harder to gain support, mentorship, and crucial business connections. This lack of networking avenues can hinder their professional growth and potential partnerships, creating a barrier to success.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in India

India’s economic growth and development depend on women who start their businesses. But they have to deal with many problems. These include taking care of their families, and not having enough money. This is compounded by people not treating them fairly. The government has started programs to help women start their businesses. These programs are:

  • Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana
  • Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana
  • Synd Mahila Shakti
  • Cent Kalyani
  • Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana.

We are still working to give women entrepreneurs in India more power. Each step we take towards this goal brings us closer to a fair and forward-thinking society.

Innovative, low-investment ideas for the hidden entrepreneur in you! Explore our guide on Business Ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ’s )

What are the schemes provided to women entrepreneurs?

Women who want to start a business can take advantage of several different schemes. These schemes include:
1. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana
2. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana
3. Synd Mahila Shakti
4. Cent Kalyani
5. Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana.

What are the incentives given to women entrepreneurs by the government?

The government provides several incentives to support women entrepreneurs. These include financial assistance through numerous loan schemes, providing a more accessible route to the capital. Subsidies are also offered on project costs, reducing the financial burden of starting and maintaining a business. Concessional interest rates are another incentive, making loans more affordable. Additionally, the government organizes special training programs.

What are the schemes for women’s empowerment?

The government has created many programs to help women become stronger and more independent. Each program is made to solve the problems that women face. The Udyogini Scheme helps women get involved in the economy by starting their businesses. The Stand-Up India Scheme helps women start new businesses that are environmentally friendly. The TREAD Scheme allows women who don’t have money or loans to create their businesses by giving them credit.

What is the subsidy for women in MSME?

The government knows that women are essential in small businesses, so they have planned to give them money through the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana. In this plan, women who start their companies can get a discount of 15% on the total cost of their project. The most money you can get from this subsidy is limited to Rs. 7,500. This program wants women to start their businesses by making it easier for them to get money.

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