Businesswomen in India long felt the need for lending schemes that were meant specifically for them. This is especially true because funds were hard to come by and everyday lenders would often refuse loans to businesswomen in India. Such refusals were driven by all kinds of negative stereotypes about women’s capabilities.
The government took note of this trend and began setting up various schemes under which businesswomen in India can receive business loans with reasonable ease. The banks in the country have, in turn, taken cues from this trend and have started to set up various lending schemes that facilitate the provision of loans specifically to businesswomen.
1. Annapurna Scheme
This is a unique scheme for businesswomen in India that are in the food industry. Under this scheme, loans up to 50,000 Rupees are provided with ease, as long as there is a guarantor. The money is typically used at the setup stage, say for purchase of kitchen equipment to get the business going. Repayment is usually in 36 months, which is reasonable for most businesswomen.
2. Dena Shakti Scheme
This scheme is offered by Dena Bank. Loans under this scheme can be up to as much as 20 Lakh Rupees for businesses in sectors like retail trade and education. In case microcredit loans are sought, they can be availed up to 50,000 Rupees. A great benefit of this scheme is the 0.25% concession that it offers on the applicable rate of interest.
3. Cent Kalyani Scheme
This is yet another tailored lending scheme for businesswomen in India wherein the loan amount is as much as 1 Crore Rupees! Offered by Central Bank of India, sectors eligible for this scheme include retail trade and agriculture. A big perk of this scheme is that guarantors or collateral are NOT required.
4. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme
This opportunity comes from the Oriental Bank of Commerce. A precondition of this scheme is that businesswomen must own at least 51% of the business. The benefits of this scheme include no collateral for loans below 10 Lakhs. Further, for SSIs or Small Scale Industries, that limit is further enhanced to 25 Lakhs. There is also a 2% rebate available on the applicable interest rate.
5. Udyogini Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs in India
This is a scheme initiated by Punjab and Sind Bank. Multiple industries are supported, like retail, agriculture as well as, a host of small businesses. There is an age criterion for businesswomen of being between 18 and 45 years to be eligible for this loan. Also, the annual family income should not be more than 45,000 Rupees, a condition that is waived off for disabled, widowed or destitute women.
6. Bhartiya Mahila Bank
A part of the State Bank of India since 2017, this is a unique initiative where disadvantaged women can get their own business up and running. The capital available under this scheme is a staggering 20 Crores for manufacturing establishments. Further, under the provisions of CGTMSE, or Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises, loans up to 1 Crore Rupees can be availed to businesswomen without any collateral.
Various specialised loans are offered, including:
- BMB Parvarish for day-care centers
- BMB Shringaar for beauty parlors, salons, spas
- BMB Kitchen Modernisation to expand and improve kitchens
7. Stree Shakti Scheme
This is a unique lending scheme only for those businesswomen in India who are already enrolled in relevant Entrepreneurship Development Programmes in their states. A precondition of owning at least 50% of the business is applicable here. Loans of up to 50 Lakh Rupees are available. Those that qualify for loans above 2 Lakh Rupees can enjoy a concession of 0.5% on the applicable interest rate.
Clearly, there are great lending schemes which the Government of India, in tandem with various banks in the country, have launched to assist businesswomen. If you are a female entrepreneur, you should take advantage of these loans!