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12 August 2020

Top 5 Business Loan Options for Women Entrepreneurs

Data suggests that there are almost 58.5 million entrepreneurs in India, of whom nearly 14% are women. Such women-owned businesses have the potential to provide employment to about 13.45 million Indians. Needless to say, women have come a long way in the Indian business scenario to make their mark.

Another survey also revealed that if equal numbers of women are encouraged to begin their start-ups, India will witness a rise of almost 16%-60% in the country’s GDP by 2025. Reviewing this immense possibility, the government, as well as the financial market, introduced affordable loan for women so that they can realise their dream of setting up their own business or expanding an existing one.

Business loan options available for women entrepreneurs

Since more women in business are sharing their success story across India, several non-banking financial companies are also offering business loans for women with easy repayment options. The significant characteristics of these loans include low rates of interest, repayment tenure up to 60 months, and collateral-free funding with minimal processing fees.

Following are some business loan options that women entrepreneurs can opt for.

Mudra loans - The central government initiated this scheme to offer mudra loans to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, including women, who plan to start small business ventures like beauty parlours, tuition centres, tailoring units, etc., or invest in an existing one.

Like some other business advances, this one is collateral-free too. Moreover, based on the loan amount, this scheme is categorised into three distinct groups, Sishu Kishor and Tarun.

Stand Up India loans – The Government of India also introduced this scheme to provide credit to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs who wish to start a Greenfield business. Eligible individuals can acquire funds amounting in the range of Rs.10 lakh and Rs.100 lakh under this initiative. This scheme comes with a tenor of up to 7 years. Loans under the Stand Up India scheme cover 75% of the project cost if the borrower’s contribution does not exceed 25% of the project cost. However, they need to provide security or collateral to avail loans under this scheme.

Annapurna Scheme - With the vision to boost women entrepreneurship, the government provides credit for women to fulfil their unique business funding requirements. Availing this loan, women entrepreneurs engaged in the agricultural sector can borrow up to Rs. 50,000 without providing any collateral. Furthermore, they are also exempted from paying the first month’s EMI when availing loans under this scheme.

Loans under the Udyogini Scheme - Availing an easy-maintenance business loan can qualify as one of the financial skills that business owners should acquire. With funding options like the one under the Udyogini scheme, women entrepreneurs are only better positioned to raise such funds for their respective businesses.

This scheme encompasses 88 different businesses under the small-scale industries category, including tailoring, fish business, bakery, etc. Women entrepreneurs engaged in these industries can apply for this scheme to start a venture or to expand their existing businesses.

The loan amount offered under this scheme can go up to Rs.1 lakh. However, the borrower’s yearly family income has to be less than Rs.45,000 to be eligible for this scheme.

Business loans for women from NBFCs – Besides government initiatives, some reputed financial institutions also extend business loans for women. Opting for this loan, women entrepreneurs can raise funding of up to Rs.25 lakh for their business growth and expansion. These collateral-free loans come with attractive features like tenor flexibility of up to 60 months. Also, with NBFCs like Bajaj Finserv, the loan gets approved within 24 hours against suitable eligibility.

Hence, female entrepreneurs can opt for a suitable business loan for women to boost their finances. In turn, the collective business turnovers can contribute to the economic growth of the country.

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