The stage is set for women entrepreneurs in India to take up entrepreneurial activities. According to reports, the country has about 15 million women-owned enterprises, representing 20 per cent of all the enterprises employing nearly 25 million people. Even though they have to overcome several challenges, from their homes to society, there has been a significant rise in the number of women entrepreneurs in India.
The participation of women entrepreneurs has also contributed significantly to India's economic, social, and business development. According to a McKinsey Global report, the country can add over $700 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by increasing women's participation,
The government of India has also contributed to this development by rolling out several women-centric schemes and initiatives. Several such schemes, including the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), Mahila Udyam Nidhi Yojana, and Mudra Loan for Women, have efficiently increased women's participation.
Women Entrepreneurship Platform
NITI Aayog launched the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) initiative to provide a platform to women entrepreneurs across the country. Under this initiative, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has collaborated with NITI Aayog to provide financial assistance to women entrepreneurs. Being an enabling platform, WEP has been designed in three key areas- Iccha Shakti, Karma Shakti, and Gyaan Shakti.
Mudra Loan For Women
The government of India launched the Mudra Loan for Women scheme to provide financial assistance to enthusiastic women entrepreneurs nationwide. The beneficiaries also don't require collateral to seek a loan under this scheme. According to the scheme, a loan of up to Rs 10 lakh can be granted to women entrepreneurs at low-interest rates and flexible repayment tenures.
Cent Kalyani Scheme
The Cent Kalyani Scheme aims to empower women to help them in their journey of starting or expanding projects. The beneficiaries can be granted up to Rs 1 crore in the form of capital expenditure under this scheme to meet day-to-day working capital. The Public Sector Unit (PSU) Central Bank of India is implementing the scheme at the grassroots level.
Under the Annapurna Yojna, the government of India provides loans up to Rs 50,000 to women entrepreneurs in the food catering business. The amount borrowed under this scheme can be used as capital expenditure (buying utensils, tiffin boxes, and other essential items). To make the repayment easy and hassle-free, the government has allowed its compensation in 36 monthly instalments.
In collaboration with several PSU and other institutions, the government has rolled out many such schemes to offer ease of business to women entrepreneurs. Notably, such schemes will take India to greater heights as more women will be empowered with resources to contribute to the national GDP and other development areas.
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