Business Loan for Women in India: Top 5 Schemes

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In the start-up ecosystem of India, Women entrepreneurs can be seen everywhere. Not just the ones with high-profile jobs, homemakers are also seen stepping out of their comfort zone and joining the pool of Entrepreneurship in India. Well, one of the primary reasons for jumpstarting the journey is that it’s becoming easier to get business loan for women for the capital they need. There are many public and private sector banks that has come up with lending schemes for women entrepreneurs.

The offers and schemes specialised for women entrepreneurs are slightly different and have a more flexible set of terms and conditions on interest rates, collateral security, etc. In most of the cases, bank loan interest rates for women entrepreneurs vary between 0.25% and 1%.

Following is a list of various loans and schemes exclusively for women that aim at promoting and easing out the process for them:

Annapurna Scheme

Offered by State Bank of India, the scheme was launched in the financial year 2000-2001. By taking business loan for women to get into the food catering industry can enjoy the benefits of this scheme.

Highlights of the Annapurna scheme:

o Up to 10 kg foodgrains are offered for free for individuals aged above 65 years. It applies to a person who is not getting a pension.

o The scheme was launched to boost the food catering business led by women.

o Loan amount, along with interest, should be paid within 36 monthly instalments.

o The maximum loan amount offered is Rs. 50,000 only.

o Collateral and guarantor are essential for this type of loan.

o The rate of interest applicable on loan is as per the market rates.

o EMI for the first month is free, after the loan disbursal.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

Inaugurated in the year 2013 by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan is considered to be one of the best schemes for Business Loans for Women. India is the third country to have a bank specifically for women, after Pakistan and Tanzania. As part of the Modi government's banking reforms and to ensure greater banking outreach to women, on 1 April ‘17 the bank was merged with State Bank of India.

Highlights of Bharatiya Mahila Bank:

o It accepts deposits from all individuals; however, preference is given for women applicants

o The first Bihar branch of Bharatiya Mahila Bank was opened in Pune

o You can open an account with zero balance

o There are 22 branches in India for this bank

o The maximum loan amount goes up to ₹20 crores in case of manufacturing industries

o Concession to the extent of 0.25% on the interest rate

Stree Shakti Package

Women with a 50% share in the ownership of a firm or business and have taken part in the state agencies run EDP, Entrepreneurship Development Programmes, can enjoy the benefit of the scheme. It is offered by most of the State Bank of India branches.

Highlights of Stree Shakti Package:

o It offers a discounted rate of interest by 0.50% in case the amount of business loan for women is more than ₹2 lakhs.

o This scheme is also provided by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Nationalized banks and State Finance Corporation.

o Entrepreneurship Development Programmes and TREAD (Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development) are the training and awards offered through the scheme

Dena Shakti Scheme

The scheme, provided by Dena Bank, is for the women entrepreneurs who are in or getting in the fields of agriculture, micro-credit, manufacturing, retail stores, education, housing or small enterprises. The major business of the bank happens in Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.

Highlights of Dena Shakti Scheme:

o Maximum of Rs. 20 lacs are offered as business loan for women for housing, retail trading and education industry

o Rs. 50,000 is being provided as microcredit as well as for bank-specific schemes

o Interest Rate on Business loan for women is as per RBI guidelines on which up to 0.25% concession is offered for women

Cent Kalyani Scheme

The scheme, offered by the Central Bank of India, aims to support women in starting a new business or expanding or making changes in the existing one. The business loans for women under Cent Kalyani Scheme can be availed by women who are involved in micro, small and medium enterprises, village and cottage industries, agriculture and allied activities, self-employed women, government-sponsored programs and retail trade.

Highlights of Dena Shakti Scheme:

o The loan under this scheme requires no collateral security or guarantor and charges no processing fees

o Rs. 100 lacs is the maximum amount that can be granted under the scheme

o The scheme is mainly meant for procurement of machinery or equipment, for meeting working capital requirements in the business.

o The rate of margin on this scheme is 20%.

Public and private banks have come forward to support the economic empowerment of women in India. Now, it is your turn to use the opportunity wisely and avail the maximum benefit from it.