Top 10 Business Loan Schemes for Women in India

With the start-up culture on its full swing in India, many women are now leaving their plush jobs and are trying their luck as first-generation entrepreneurs. Though, just having the enthusiasm is not enough to kick-start a venture. One needs to have a great idea and access to a reasonable amount of money to start the journey as an entrepreneur. Thankfully, the Indian Government, as well as the private players, have realised this pertinent need for cash by the new business owners and are now offering various types of loans, especially for women entrepreneurs. These business loan schemes have been designed exclusively for women and offer various incentives to them.

If you are also an aspiring woman entrepreneur or have an already established business but are facing paucity of funds as the biggest hurdle in your journey, then here is the list of the top 10 loan schemes for women in India:

1. HDFC Business Growth Loan: If you have an already established business but are facing a shortage of funds, then you can apply for an HDFC Business Loan. HDFC Bank offers business growth loans of up to Rs. 50 Lakh for profit-making businesses with minimum overall business experience of five years and three years in the current business. The interest rates start from as low as 15.65% per annum with a repayment tenor of up to 48 months. The money must be used for business purposes only. 

2. SBI Stree Shakti Package: This is an exclusive SBI Business Loan for women entrepreneurs. The SBI Stree Shakti Business loan is available for entities where a woman is an owner or a majority shareholder (minimum 51%). The maximum amount available as SBI Stree Shakti Package is Rs. 25 Lakh with no collateral required for loans of up to Rs. 5 Lakh. If the loan amount is above Rs. 2 Lakh, the interest rate is reduced by 0.5%. The female applicants seeking financial assistance under this scheme must enrol in an Entrepreneurship Development Program organized by their respective state agency. 

3. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana: Under this flagship scheme of the Government of India, unsecured Business Loans up to Rs. 10 Lakh is available for women applicants at concessional interest rates. There are three categories of Mudra Loans available as per the amount required:

a) Shishu: Loans up to Rs. 50,000 for new business ventures.

b) Kishor: Loans between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 Lakh for established businesses.

c) Tarun:  Loans between Rs. 5 Lakh to Rs. 10 Lakh for business expansion.

4. Dena Shakti Scheme: Dena Bank offers unsecured business loans of up to Rs. 20 Lakh under this scheme for women entrepreneurs. This facility is available for small businesses engaged in manufacturing, agriculture, or retail stores. There is a concession of 0.25% applicable to the rate of interest. 

5. Cent Kalyani Scheme: The Central Bank of India offers this Business Loan Scheme for women already engaged in a business or looking to start a new business venture. Herein, women applicants can borrow sums of up to Rs. 1 crore with the margin requirement being 20%. These loans are unsecured, while the interest rates are linked to the market rates. The maximum repayment tenor available here is 7 years, which includes a Moratorium Period of up to one year. 

6. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme: This Business Loan scheme is offered by SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India through Punjab National Bank. Women applicants can avail of unsecured Business Loans up to Rs. 10 Lakh under this scheme with the maximum repayment tenor being 10 years, inclusive of a five-year Moratorium Period. The interest rates are disclosed at the time of application only as they are linked to market rates. 

7. Oriental Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme: Oriental Bank offers unsecured Business Loans of up to Rs 25 Lakh under this scheme. To avail of this loan, the enterprise must be wholly owned by the female applicant, or the female applicant must have more than 51% share in the business. The maximum repayment tenor available under this scheme is 7 years, and there is a concession of 2% in the interest rates. 

8. TREAD: Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development Program, i.e., TREAD, is a business financing scheme that has been floated to empower female entrepreneurs by providing them all-around assistance to get their business ventures going. The assistance offered includes offering training, counseling, sharing information, and providing credit facilities. While the government will offer a grant of 30% of the entire cost of the project appraised by an approved financial institution, the respective financial institution will finance the remaining 70% of the project cost.

9. Udyogini Scheme: Punjab and Sind Bank offers this exclusive Business Loan for women applicants between the age bracket of 18 to 45 years. The maximum amount available under this scheme is Rs. 1 Lakh depending on the family income of the applicant, which must be below Rs. 45,000 per annum. This scheme is available exclusively for women applicants belonging to SC/ ST category. There is no need to offer any collateral for availing of this scheme.

10. Bajaj Finserv small business loan for women: Bajaj Finserv offers Small Business Loans for female entrepreneurs looking to start new ventures or those who need money for their existing setups. The maximum amount available under this scheme is Rs. 30 Lakh with a flexible repayment tenor of up to 96 months. This Business Loan from Bajaj Finserv is unsecured and comes with a minimal documentation process. Bajaj Finserv approves the loan applications in under 24 hours, with borrowers getting online account access. Interest rates start from 18% inwards while the processing fee levied by the company is 2% of the loan amount, inclusive of taxes. 

With the focus of the government of India on empowering women entrepreneurs, these Business Loan schemes come with flexible eligibility criteria and friendly repayment terms. If you are an aspiring businesswoman or have an established business venture, then make use of this opportunity to give wings to your dreams and aspirations.

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