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Women entrepreneurs today have successfully tapped into lesser-explored sectors from food, beauty, travel, sanitation, IT, automobile and even innovation. To make things easier, the government of India has stepped up by introducing loan schemes for women. These women entrepreneurs schemes will be quite helpful in getting the financial assistance required for their entrepreneurial journey. Let's have a look at all the government schemes for women entrepreneurs.

Women Empowerment Schemes

Below we have provided a list of government schemes for women entrepreneurs:

 

  1. Mudra Loan for Women

  2. Annapurna Scheme

  3. Stree Shakti Yojana

  4. Dena Shakti Scheme

  5. Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

  6. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana

  7. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme

  8. Cent Kalyani Scheme

  9. Udyogini Scheme

  10. Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana

  11. Synd Mahila Shakti Scheme

List of Top 11 Government Loan Schemes for Women Entrepreneurs

The government schemes for women entrepreneurs are discussed in details below: 

1. Mudra Loan for Women

Mudra Loan for Women was launched by the government as a woman loan scheme to offer financial support for enthusiastic women entrepreneurs. They seek a business plan like starting a beauty parlour, tuition centre, stitching shop, etc. This scheme does not require any collateral to grant the loan. However, there are categories under which a Mudra loan application can be applied. They are as follows:

  • Shishu Loan: The maximum loan amount granted to businesses in the initial stage is Rs. 50,000. 

  • Kishor Loan: This loan is for businesses that are already established but wish to improve services. The amount of loan granted varies from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 Lakhs. 

  • Tarun Loan: This loan is for well-established businesses planning to expand their reach and is short on capital; they can avail as much as Rs. 10 Lakhs for the purpose.

2. Annapurna Scheme

The Annapurna Yojana is one of the many government schemes for women. Under this, the Government of India offers women entrepreneurs schemes in food catering businesses loans up to Rs. 50,000. The borrowed amount could be used for working capital requirements such as buying utensils, mixer cum grinder, hot case, tiffin boxes, working table, etc. 

After the loan is approved, the lender doesn't have to pay the EMI for the first month. Once sanctioned, the amount has to be repaid in 36 monthly instalments. The interest rate charged is determined based on the market rate and the concerned bank.

3. Stree Shakti Yojana

The Stree Shakti package is a unique government scheme for women that supports entrepreneurship by providing certain concessions. This woman loan scheme is eligible for women who have the majority of ownership in the business. Another requirement is that these women entrepreneurs be enrolled under the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) organised by their respective state agencies. This Stree Shakti scheme allows women to avail of an interest concession of 0.05% on loans more than Rs. 2 lakh.

4. Dena Shakti Scheme

The Dena Shakti Scheme provides loans up to Rs. 20 lakh for women entrepreneurs scheme in agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores, or small enterprises. This government scheme for women also provides a concession of 0.25 percent on the interest rate. In addition, women entrepreneurs can avail of a loan of up to Rs. 50,000 under the microcredit category.

5. Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

Implemented by The Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB), this is a public sector banking company that offers loans schemes for women entrepreneurs up to Rs. 20 Crores for working capital requirements, business expansion, or manufacturing enterprises. Some of the different plans under this woman loan scheme includes:

  • Shringaar: The BMB Shringaar loan applies to self-employed women or homemakers planning a start-up or meeting their daily business expenses. The loan doesn't require you to provide any collateral security.

  • Parvarish: Similarly, the BMB Parvarish loan is for self-employed women or homemakers to set up day-care creches. The upper limit of this loan can be Rs. 1 Crore without any collateral security under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGSTSM) scheme.

  • Annapurna: Between 18 to 60 years, food entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand their small businesses can avail of this loan. Its features are similar to that of the State Bank of Mysore's Annapurna scheme, minus that it does not require collateral security.

6. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana

One of the most popular government schemes for women entrepreneurs, the Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme, is offered by Punjab National Bank and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The scheme supports women entrepreneurs to set up a new small-scale venture by extending loans up to Rs. 10 lakh to be repaid in 10 years. The rate of interest charged depends upon the market rates.

7. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme

Oriental Bank of Commerce launched the scheme, women with an ownership of 51 percent share capital individually or jointly in a proprietary concern can avail a loan through the Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana. There is collateral required for loans between Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 25 lakhs. The repayment tenure of the loan is seven years. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme also provides a concession on the interest rate of up to 2 percent.

8. ent Kalyani Scheme

The Cent Kalyani Yojana is a government scheme for women that can be availed by both existing and new entrepreneurs and self-employed women. Micro/small enterprises like farming, agriculture, cottage industries, and retail trade are all eligible to apply for the Cent Kalyani Scheme. You do not have to provide any collateral as security or need any guarantors for this loan. The interest rate on loans depends on market rates. The repayment tenure of the loan will be a maximum of seven years.

9. Udyogini Scheme

The Women Development Corporation has implemented the Udyogini Scheme under the Government of India. This scheme promotes and motivates women's entrepreneurship among the poor by providing financial support to women. This scheme majorly supports and helps illiterate women living in rural and backward areas.

10. Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana

The objective of Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY), one of the various government schemes for women, is to provide opportunities of self-employment to the educated young people of the country. Initiated in 1993, the scheme provides the unemployed Indian youth a loan amount to commence their personal business project and subsequently create scope of employment for others. 

Just a few of the approved business segments for which the government scheme provides financial backup include manufacturing, trade, services, etc., you can avail a loan up to Rs. 1 Lakh without having to provide any collateral. The tenure for repaying the loan ranges from 3 to 7 years.  

11. Synd Mahila Shakti Scheme

Syndicate Bank has introduced a scheme known as the “Synd Mahila Shakthi Scheme” with an aim to support women’s entrepreneurship development. Under this plan, the bank offers financial backup to those women entrepreneurs and professionals involved in small business, retail trade, or self-employed through its credit facilities. 

The objective of this government scheme for women is to promote economic empowerment of women by supporting them with business loans to meet their need for working capital or expansion of business. You can initiate as well as modernise your existing business by availing a loan of a maximum of Rs. 5 Crores with a concessional interest rate. 

The minimum interest rate is 10.25% which is applicable for loans up to Rs. 10 Lakhs, and no collateral is required. Concession is offered at 0.25% for loans above Rs 10 Lakhs, and there is no processing fee. 

Banks Offering Business Loans for Women

Now that you’ve seen the various government schemes for women entrepreneurs, let’s take a look at the list of financial institutions including banks and NBFCs offering business loans to women. 

Bank Name

Interest Rate

Loan Amount 

Repayment Tenure

Central Bank of India

7.50% p.a. for loans up to Rs. 10 Lakhs


7.75% p.a. + tenure premium for loans above ₹10 Lakhs and up to Rs. 1 Crore 

Maximum of ₹1 Crore

According to the terms and conditions of the Central Bank of India. 

Bank of Baroda

According to the terms and conditions of Bank of Baroda.

₹10 Lakhs to ₹1 Crore

According to the terms and conditions of Bank of Baroda.

State Bank of India

Competitive interest rates related to MCLR

₹10 Lakhs to ₹1 Crore

Maximum up to 7 years. 

Fullerton India

13% to 21% per annum.

Maximum up to ₹50 Lakhs

12 months to 60 months

Tata Capital

From 19% per annum

₹5 Lakhs to ₹75 Lakhs

12 months to 36 months

Lendingkart 

15% to 27% per annum.

Maximum of ₹2 Crores.

Maximum up to 36 months.

Disclaimer: The rates of interest and the other terms of the loan are subject to change at the discretion of the financial institution. 

Women entrepreneurs can avail of a business loan at Bajaj Markets at attractive interest rates. The funds can be used to undertake various business operations, such as expanding your business, acquiring other companies, buying new machinery or equipment, etc. 

What are the Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs In India

To come up with solutions to the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in the country, it is crucial to first identify what they are. Once these challenges have been identified, then you can look to solve them through the various government schemes for women. Here’s an overview of some of the key challenges plaguing women entrepreneurs. 

  • Lack of Finance

Since capital is the most important requirement for any business, the lack of funding has been a major challenge that has restricted several women entrepreneurs. The inability to gain access to funds has primarily been due to the lack of collateral to use to secure loans. 

To bridge this gap, several government schemes for women entrepreneurs have been introduced recently that enable women to quickly and effortlessly get access to capital. In addition to this, there are several financial institutions that have also started to offer unsecured business loans to women to help them kick start their own business. 

  • Lack of Education

Illiteracy and lack of formal education has traditionally been a major hurdle for women looking to start their own business. Considering the fact that proper education leads to better management of a business, it is important for women to overcome this challenge by enrolling themselves in the various educational programs established by the government of India. Some of the few government schemes promoting education amongst women are the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana, Mahila Shakti Kendra, and Mahila E-Haat among others. 

  • Low Risk-Taking Abilities

The various government schemes for women entrepreneurs can only satisfy the need for capital. However, many women interested in pursuing business are held back by their inability to take risks, which usually forms a huge part of any business. That said, women with low risk-taking abilities can overcome it by adopting a few simple tips. 

  • By building self-confidence.

  • By weighing the pros and cons of any business decision prior to making one. 

  • By taking intelligent decisions that take the path of the least risk. 

  • Family Responsibilities 

In a country like India, a large majority of the populace expect women to take over familial responsibilities after their marriage. Even women who wish to focus on their career are expected to juggle both work and family responsibilities equally. This lack of freedom to pursue their careers has severely limited many women from realising their true potential. Fortunately, there are a few things that women could do. 

  • Hold talks with the family to make them understand the importance of having a career. 

  • Devise a plan to strike the right work-life balance. 

  • Prioritise responsibilities to manage time more effectively. 

  • Poor Networking Skills

Networking is an important step that every business owner needs to focus on. With the right network, business owners can grow their businesses far more quickly and in a more effective manner. However, women are perceived to have less than ideal networking skills. Thankfully, here are some ways to rectify it.

  • Begin to attend events dedicated to networking. 

  • Get to know more about the industry and the business as a whole. 

  • Develop productive relationships with other business owners and women entrepreneurs. 

  • Security and Safety Issues

This is another major issue plaguing women entrepreneurs. Running a business demands a lot of time and effort. Women may have to work long hours that extend well into the night and might have to travel frequently to and meet their customers. 

This brings up the question of security and safety for women. Just like how the various government schemes for women for providing funding were established, steps are constantly being taken to bring down the crime rate for women and make the place a whole lot safer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • ✔️How can a woman apply for a small business loan?

    Women can apply for a small business loan by visiting the official website of a financial institution to apply or can physically visit there to execute the loan formalities. They can avail a small business loan by following these steps:

     

    Step 1: Determine the eligibility.

     

    Step 2: Choose the right lender.

     

    Step 3: Gather the documents.

     

    Step 4: Fill out the application form.

     

    Step 5: Submit it along with the documents.

     

    In addition to a business loan, there are several government schemes for women that seek to provide adequate capital for kick starting a business. 

  • ✔️What loans are available for women to start a business?

    Some well-known government schemes for women to start a business include Annapurna Scheme, Stree Shakti Yojana, Dena Shakti Scheme, Cent Kalyani Scheme, etc. 

  • ✔️What loan options are there to start a small business for women?

    There are various loan options available for women entrepreneurs to start small businesses. Some of them include ICICI Bank – Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme, Stand-Up India, Shakti Scheme from Bank of Baroda (BOB), etc. Additionally, there are also several government schemes for women entrepreneurs that provide the funding necessary to kick start and expand businesses. 

  • ✔️What are the government loans for women to start a business?

    Some of the popular government schemes for women to start a business in India are the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), Bhartiya Mahila Bank Business Loan, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana, Cent Kalyani Scheme, etc.