What was once a sector mainly consisting of men, the MSME sector has slowly but surely started welcoming women entrepreneurs with open arms. In India, the last few decades have seen rapid development in terms of providing enough (and equal) incentives for women entrepreneurs. This not only has elevated the status of women in the country but has also given a serious boost to the Indian economy.
Over the last few years, women entrepreneurs have had a significant impact on the social demographic of the country as well. With women now participating in labour fields, working classes, private/govt offices, and most importantly, starting their businesses, the result is seen as the development of abundant jobs in the country.
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Women in MSMEs
Indian women are playing an important role as being a part of MSMEs now, which means they have a significant role in boosting the economy of the country. However, we still have just about 14% of women entrepreneurs in India.
The surge in women’s entrepreneurship can not only improve the financial situation of the country but also provide tangible benefits to the people of the country, some of which include:
Economic impact – The establishment of businesses in the country has also impacted and grown the economy exponentially over the last few years. This has opened doors for women entrepreneurs to equally become a part of this economically beneficial climate in the country.
Employment creation – With such an easy provision of MSME loans, starting a business is easier than ever. A successful business can also employ people, which eventually creates jobs for women entrepreneurs and other people.
Emerging new domains – With the number of opportunities and options in terms of employment now, women have equal resources as compared to men. Especially with the availability of the internet, starting a business and drawing an MSME loan online is now easier than ever.
As the number of women entrepreneurs in the country is growing, the opportunities and MSME schemes to empower women entrepreneurs are also being introduced by the govt.
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MSME Schemes For Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
The MSME schemes introduced for women entrepreneurs specifically ensure that they find it easier to start up new businesses and obtain the necessary MSME loans to start these businesses.
Some of these schemes are:
1. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme
Originally introduced to offer financial assistance of up to ₹10 lakhs to small businesses, the Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme now also helps women set up new projects and businesses. Under this scheme, women entrepreneurs also have the liberty of upgrading the existing projects.
The Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme has a variety of interest rates depending on the market rates, and the loans have a repayment tenure of up to 10 years with a 5-year moratorium period.
2. TREAD Scheme
The Trade-Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (or TREAD) scheme is aimed to empower women by providing them with the necessary credit for projects which includes training, counselling, and knowledge to run the projects in the ideal way.
The TREAD scheme aims to build the knowledge of women in businesses better. Under this scheme, the govt provides a grant of up to 30% of the total project cost, which is determined by the financial institutions.
3. Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana
The Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana allows women entrepreneurs to receive the necessary financial assistance under this scheme to grow their businesses. The best thing about this scheme is that it is applicable in all industries, new and old businesses, and throughout all the services.
The aim of the scheme is to empower women by providing them with the necessary MSME loans in order to help them become financially stable. One of the most important features of this scheme is that it also offers a 15% discount on the project costs, which is up to a maximum of ₹12,500 per person.
4. Annapurna Yojana
If any women want to take up their interest in catering and make it into a business, this scheme is the right option for them.
The Annapurna Yojana allows women to launch a catering business by borrowing a sum of ₹50,000 under this scheme. With a repayment period of 36-months and required collateral, this scheme is already benefitting a lot of women throughout the country.
5. Udyogini Scheme
The Udyogini scheme is ideal for women who want to start a new business of any kind. The original plan with the scheme is that it’s more suitable for families that earn less than ₹1.5 lakhs per year. Without any discrimination against any class of women, the Udyogini scheme is meant to benefit everybody who needs it.
Under this scheme, the loan amount of ₹3 lakh is provided in cash with a lower interest rate. The scheme aims to help women become financially stable to launch their own businesses, especially in remote areas.
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6. Dena Shakti Scheme
All women entrepreneurs that are involved in agriculture, manufacturing, or similar enterprises can acquire loans under the Dena Shakti scheme. The loans offered under the Dena Shakti Scheme are up to ₹50,000 with a concession of about 0.25% on the rate of interest. However, for retail trading, housing, or education, loans of up to ₹20 lakhs could be sanctioned.
Women entrepreneurs have achieved so much over the past few decades that it’s evident that women can contribute to the faster growth of society and the economy of the country. After emerging from such a long time of conventions and taboos, women have tackled so many problems of starting new businesses and creating new opportunities that the male folk practically couldn’t do.
A lot of inspirational women have already carved their niches in different fields of business. Moreover, the introduction of the govt schemes to empower women entrepreneurs is also paving the road for women entrepreneurs to become independent as well.