Being an entrepreneur is hard when you are a woman trying to make a brand in a male-dominated area. Men aggregate 86 % of Indian entrepreneurship and the challenges manifold as there are bigger mountains to climb. 

Confidence is one of the most important traits that every woman entrepreneur must possess. If you want to break the glass ceiling, you must have trust and confidence in your skills and talent. The most common challenge faced by women entrepreneurs was the difficulty to raise funds. They claim that this challenge is mainly the result of gender bias, like any other workspace.

What are the Government Funding Schemes For Women Entrepreneurs?

Governments at the central and state levels have launched financial schemes, for women entrepreneurs. To promote women to build up small business setups and use their skills, the government offers few loans in India:

1. Annapurna Scheme

This scheme is offered by the State Bank of Mysore for those women entrepreneurs who are setting up the food catering business to sell packed meals, snacks, etc. Under this loan, a guarantor is required along with the assets of the business being pledged as collateral security. The maximum amount of money that is granted is ₹50,000 which has to re-paid in monthly installments for 36 months.

2. Stree Shakti Package For Women Entrepreneurs

This scheme is offered by most of the SBI branches to women who have a 50% share in the ownership of a firm or business and have taken part in the state agencies that run the Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP). The scheme also offers a discounted rate of interest by 0.50% in case the amount of loan is more than ₹2 lakhs.

3. Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

This loan is a support system for budding women entrepreneurs looking to start new ventures in the fields of the retail sector, loan against property, MICRO loans, and SME loans. The maximum loan amount under this loan goes up to ₹20 crores. Additionally, there is no requirement of collateral security for a loan of up to ₹1 crore.

4. Dena Shakti Scheme

This scheme is provided by Dena bank to those women entrepreneurs in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores, or small enterprises that require financial assistance. The maximum loan amount being ₹20 lakhs for retail trade, education, and housing.

5. Udyogini Scheme

This scheme is offered by Punjab and Sind Bank to provide women entrepreneurs involved in agriculture, retail, and small business enterprises to get loans for business at flexible terms and concessional interest rates. The maximum amount of loan under this scheme for women between the age bracket of 18-45 years is ₹1 lakh.

6. Cent Kalyani Scheme

The scheme is offered by the Central Bank of India to support women in starting a new venture or expanding or modifying an existing enterprise. This loan can be availed by women who are involved in village and cottage industries, micro, small and medium enterprises, self-employed women, agriculture and allied activities, retail trade, and government-sponsored programs. The maximum amount that can be granted under the scheme is ₹100 lakhs.

7. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme

This scheme is launched by Punjab National Bank and aims at supporting the women entrepreneurs involved in the small-scale industries by granting them soft loans that can be repaid over 10 years. The maximum amount granted under this scheme is ₹10 lakhs and the interest depends upon the market rates.

8. Mudra Yojana Scheme For Women

This scheme by Govt. of India is for individual women wanting to start small new enterprises and businesses, as well as for a group of women wanting to start a venture together. 

If the loan is granted, a Mudra card will be given to you which functions the same way as a credit card however the funds available are limited to 10% of the loan amount granted to you.

9. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme

This scheme provided by the Oriental Bank of Commerce are for those women who hold a 51% share capital individually or jointly in a proprietary concern. No collateral security is required for loans of ₹10 lakhs up to ₹25 lakhs in case of small-scale industries and the period of repayment is 7 years. 

10. Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development

The TRADE scheme aims to empower women by providing credit to projects, conducting specific training and counseling, and eliciting information. The scheme provides for a government grant of up to 30% of the total project cost as valued by lending institutions. These institutions would finance the other 70 %.

Non-Government Funding Scheme For Women Entrepreneurs 

In starting a venture, access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles women entrepreneurs face. Government-initiated women-centric schemes can help bridge the gap between institutional lending and the financial needs of women entrepreneurs. Currently, there are a few non-government platforms in India which are:

1. Saha Fund 

Saha Fund is the first women-focused venture capital fund approved by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. They aim not only at investing in startups founded by women, but also where women hold senior management roles and the ones that make products and services for women. To discover and leverage the untapped women talent available in the market, Saha Fund invests in companies across e-commerce, social media, mobile, cloud, analytics, education, healthcare, analytics, food tech, and tech platforms.

2. Women Entrepreneurs India 

Women Entrepreneurs India lends a helping hand to women in establishing their businesses with ideas that coincide with their abilities, interests, and skills, and to upscale their existing business. Women Entrepreneur India strives to educate, train, support, and motivate women entrepreneurs all over India, through innovative business ideas, startup funding avenues, marketing support, and mentor connections.

3. SonderConnect

SonderConnect aims to create a pipeline of high-potential women entrepreneurs and assist them in scaling by connecting them to investors and providing access to a powerful global network. They support women in their entrepreneurial journey to become self-governing and guides them to thrive in their endeavors through our comprehensive, expert-led mentoring programs.

4. HerMoneyTalks 

HerMoney Talks is India’s first financial services marketplace for women. They aim at relating women to financial institutions and facilitate credit for women. They also connect women to financial institutions and experts and become financial services and credit facilitators for women in India.

5. Crowdfunding

Though not used that much, crowdfunding is an excellent way to raise capital. There are two ways of going about this: rewards-based or through equity. In the first instance, you send a product or service of your company, in exchange for the money they give. As far as equity is concerned, you’re giving the ‘lenders’ a part of your company to own, i.e. they’re buying the stocks of your company.

To avail of all the above schemes, you need to prepare a business plan to convince the funder. Try Finline tool for drafting a business plan in minutes.