In today’s economic environment, gender equality has become a must. Women from various classes and societal backgrounds are now welcomed with open arms in the MSME sector, which once overflowed with businessmen. In India, the introduction of several government incentives for women entrepreneurs has prompted more women to step forward. Both state and federal government programs are included.
Important role of women in the overall growth of MSME Sector
Women entrepreneurs have had a tremendous impact on India’s social and economic demographics as a result of their growing presence. Millions of families have benefited from women’s participation in the labour field, which has resulted in the development of jobs.
MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy, employing millions of men and women throughout the country. However, women account for only 13.76 percent of all entrepreneurs in India. Despite the fact that the number of male entrepreneurs has surpassed 50 million, the number of female entrepreneurs is estimated to be about 8 million.
- Creation of Employment
It suggests that female entrepreneurs not only start businesses but also employ others. Women’s entrepreneurship is concerned with women’s social status and their function as entrepreneurs within that society. It can be interpreted in two ways: on a personal level and on a corporate level. Women entrepreneurs have a significant economic influence in this way because of their potential to create jobs for themselves and others.
- Economic Progress
It denotes the contribution of women entrepreneurs to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) through the establishment of businesses and the production of products and services. Women entrepreneurs add energy to the market because of their entrepreneurial activity. They also contribute to the country’s increased national GDP in this way.
- Exploration Of Fields
Women used to have three Ks: kitchen, kids, knitting, and now there are four Es: electricity, electronics, energy, and engineering. Indian women have come a long way, and they are now more visible and successful in many domains, having progressed from the kitchen to higher levels of professional pursuits.
Women entrepreneurs are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the corporate world, and they are doing so not only to survive but also to satisfy their inner desire for creativity and to demonstrate their abilities. Educated women are making a significant contribution to societal development, and more women will be entering into previously male-dominated areas in the future.
How Government and banks are encouraging women to start their business
From being financially dependent on males, Indian women have come a long way. Women are self-sufficient today. They are financially responsible for themselves and make their own financial decisions. Furthermore, a number of government and bank initiatives are explicitly aimed at enhancing women’s financial independence.
Savings Account Benefits: Banks allow women to save their money in specially tailored savings accounts in addition to traditional savings accounts. These savings accounts absolutely meet the financial and investment demands of today’s Indian women, and they offer competitive features in line with contemporary lifestyle expectations.
Loan Benefits: Women can get house loans at cheaper interest rates from a number of major institutions. If the woman is the initial candidate for a shared house loan, banks may give discounted loan rates. Furthermore, when compared to their male counterparts, women receive lower interest rates on car loans. If the rate of interest remains constant during the loan term, women can save more. This is especially true when a family takes out a substantial loan with the help of a female applicant. Aside from low-interest rates, some banks also exempt women from paying loan processing fees.
Government Schemes: Several government programs for women entrepreneurs have also been developed. The Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB) business lending scheme, for example, is aimed towards women who want to start their own company. The Annapurna Scheme is another government-sponsored financial program for women. The program’s goal is to help women start a catering business by providing financial assistance. Aside from these two well-known programs, the government has introduced a number of other financial initiatives to encourage women to become entrepreneurs in the country. We will discuss more about these schemes below.
Prominent Government Schemes that can give wings to Women Entrepreneurs
For these female MSMEs owners, the government around the country are offering enticing incentives to support their businesses and make it easier for them to obtain financing.
- Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
Under this central government scheme, women entrepreneurs can get loans ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh with simple payback terms. It is administered by the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) and provides loans to enterprises in the manufacturing, trading, and service sectors.
- Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana
Women entrepreneurs can receive financial assistance under this scheme and grow their business. Women in all industries, new businesses, and services will benefit from this program. This program primarily focuses on empowering women by providing loans to help them become financially self-sufficient. Agriculture is included in the system, which also envelops all business alternatives. The most important feature of this scheme is that it offers a 15% discount on project costs, up to a maximum of INR12500 per person.
- Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD) Scheme
This program strives to empower women by lending money to initiatives, giving specialized training and counselling, and gathering information on relevant needs. The scheme allows the government to provide a grant of up to 30% of the overall project cost, as determined by financial institutions. The remaining 70% would be financed by these institutions.
- Annapurna Yojana
Many women are fantastic cooks and may make money by starting a catering business. This Indian government program for female entrepreneurs intends to assist women who want to launch a catering business. Women can borrow up to Rs 50,000 under the Annapurna scheme. This loan has a 36-month repayment period and requires collateral and a guarantor for acceptance. Assets are used as collateral for Annapurna program loans.
- Udyogini Scheme
This program is ideal for ladies who want to establish their own business but don’t know where to begin. The GOI intends this scheme for women who belong to a family that earns less than INR 1.5 lakhs per year, with no discrimination against widowed, poor, or disabled women. The scheme provides up to Rs 3 lakh in cash, with a low-interest rate. The goal is to assist women in becoming self-sufficient by creating their own enterprises, particularly in economically underdeveloped countries. Through loan subsidies, women can embark on a path of business.
- Cent Kalyani Scheme
This plan channeling MSME loans for new businesses will be extremely advantageous to women who work in MSMEs. This program is for women who run or want to start a small business. The Central Bank of India is credited with initiating this scheme, which is known as the Cent Kalyani Scheme. Other women who benefit from this program are those who work in agriculture or in retail. This scheme offers loans ranging from Rs 1 crore with no collateral or guarantors necessary. In addition, the Cent Kalyani Scheme’s business loan interest rate is determined by market conditions.
Financially independent women can contribute to society’s faster growth and development. As a result, the Indian government has devised initiatives to make credit available to women, who can then use it to achieve their business goals. They will be able to expand and provide jobs for additional women as a result of this.