Opportunity rarely knocks twice, and women in India have grasped every opportunity they were presented with, establishing an entrepreneurial base spanning villages, towns and cities. Women have forayed into different sectors, providing job opportunities to millions, helping the country progress towards development. Today, banks have realised the vast potential women hold, offering customised products to help them enhance their business, ensuring that funds do not become an impediment in realising certain dreams.
Popular schemes for women entrepreneurs
A number of banks offer exclusive schemes for female entrepreneurs, with some of the popular ones mentioned below.
State Bank of Mysore
SBM has two schemes for women entrepreneurs, the Annapurna Scheme and the Stree Shakti package.
- Annapurna Scheme – This scheme is designed for women who wish to establish food catering units, and offers loans up to Rs 50,000 for this purpose. The loan can be used to purchase kitchen essentials, gas connections, raw materials, etc. and has a repayment period of 3 years.
- Stree Shakti – Loans under this scheme can be availed by women entrepreneurs who have undergone EDP training. Loans up to Rs 50 lakh can be availed under this plan, with lower interest rates applicable for higher amounts.
Oriental Bank of Commerce
Oriental Bank of Commerce has two schemes designed for self-employed women and those who are keen on setting up a beauty parlour/saloon.
- Scheme for Beauty parlours/boutiques – This scheme aims to promote entrepreneurial spirit among women, and offers loans up to Rs 10 lakh to set up a saloon, boutique, tailoring centre or beauty parlour. The loan amount can be used to meet any expenditure associated with setting up such a center and for daily expenses.
- Scheme for self-employed women – This loan can be utilised to purchase fixed assets to enhance or start a business. The maximum loan amount is limited to Rs 5 lakh, with a repayment period ranging between 5 and 7 years.
Bank of Baroda
Bank of Baroda offers one loan scheme for women entrepreneurs, the Akshaya Mahila Athik Sahay Yojna (AMASY), designed to help women reach their business dreams without having to worry about finances. This loan can be availed by women who are engaged in or wish to establish a business in retail trade, cottage industries and/or allied agricultural activities.
Dena Bank offers an exclusive scheme to aid female entrepreneurs, providing them sufficient financial help to build an enterprise. Loans can be availed as per RBI directions, with the amount varying according to the sector in which a woman wishes to establish a venture. This loan can be used for agriculture, MSMEs, education, housing and retail trade. Borrowers are also eligible for a special interest rate which is 0.25% lower than prevailing rates.
Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited
TMB offers a loan designed for women entrepreneurs, the Mahalir Loan. This loan can be used to finance any business, with loans upto Rs 10 lakh available. The loan can be repaid within 7 years, with the interest rate depending on the quantum of loan.
Punjab National Bank
PNB offers 5 different schemes for women entrepreneurs, each one targeting a specific population.
- PNB Mahila Samridhi Yojana – This scheme was launched to provide financial assistance to women who wish to set up boutiques, beauty parlours, cyber cafes, Xerox stores, telephone booths, etc.
- PNB Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme – This scheme aims to reduce the gap in equity, helping women set up new ventures in the small scale sector or enhance their current undertakings.
- PNB Scheme for financing crèches – This scheme aims to provide financial assistance to women who are keen on setting up crèches. The loan can be used to purchase the necessary materials and to meet any recurring expenditure.
- PNB Mahila Sashaktikaran Abhiyan – This scheme provides credit to women who intend to establish small and micro enterprises in the non-farm sector, offering fee waiver and lower interest rate.
- PNB Kalyani Card Scheme – This scheme provides loans for women engaged in agricultural, farm or non-farm activities.
There are a number of additional, smaller schemes offered by other banks across the country, aiming to nurture entrepreneurial spirit in women.
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