India’s Top Banks Support Women Entrepreneurs And How?

India’s Top Banks Support Women Entrepreneurs And How?

A survey released by OECD’s (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) chief economist, Catherine L. Mann, on Wednesday 19th Oct 2016, revealed – Female entrepreneurship is increasing in India, especially in manufacturing, where women account for 40 % of the entrepreneurs!

This is all good news!

However, The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) released the Female Entrepreneurship Index (FEI) in 2015 in which it ranked India at 70th position out of 77 nations, with countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt having better rankings.


Whichever study we choose to accept, there is no doubt about the fact that –

The new generation women have surely beaten all negative notions and proved themselves beyond doubt in all spheres of life including the most convoluted and ponderous world of entrepreneurship.

On that happy note, one of the most critical issues faced by women entrepreneurs today, revealed by multiple independent surveys, deserve much attention

Finance is the backbone for any business, and lack of adequate financial support makes sustenance invariably impossible. Great news is – the Indian banking sector has come together in a big way to ensure no enterprise led by women suffers because of lack of finance.

Some of the initiatives taken by India’s leading banks to support women entrepreneurs are listed down below

Jammu & Kashmir Bank

J&K Bank, Chairman and CEO, Parvez Ahmad, describes women as key enablers of empowerment. The bank recently announced a slew of women specific initiatives.

  • Bank will offer financial assistance to women entrepreneurs at a lower rate of interest.
  • The bank has announced setting up of 2 branches specifically for women customers to be run only by the women staff of the bank one in Srinagar and other in Jammu.

Bhartiya Mahila Bank

BMB encourages women entrepreneurs by extending financial support to women entrepreneurs intending to start their own ventures.

  • The bank has signed MOU’s with leading brands like – Lakme, Naturals and Cavinkare to help women set up beauty salons.
  • BMB understands that majority Indian women do not own immovable properties which often becomes a stumbling block in the way to pursue their dreams.
  • Hence, the Bank offers a collateral free loan of up to INR 1 crore, covered under the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).
  • BMB Parvarish – Child Day Care Centre Loan, BMB Annapurna – Catering Services Loan are two women focused innovative loan products initiated by the bank.
  • BMB has tied up with several NGO’s and micro finance institutions to extend micro credit to women entrepreneurs in the country’s remotest of areas.
  • The bank has introduced a first-of-its-kind recurring deposit product exclusively for the girl child – Komal Kali. This deposit has been introduced with a view to create a corpus for higher studies or starting own venture once the child turns 18.

State Bank of India

Under the Mudra Loan scheme, State Bank of India has come forward to extend loans to help women entrepreneurs in West Bengal who are engaged in various handicraft activities.

As reported by the bank, in a camp organized in Jan2016, around 80 women entrepreneurs were extended credit under this initiative. Loans are extended at a lower rate of interest and without collateral security up to an amount of INR 10 Lakh. Maximum loan amount extends up to INR 50 Lakh under the scheme.

State Bank of Mysore

The bank has introduced 2 specific schemes for women entrepreneurs –

  • Annapurna Scheme – This scheme specifically targets women intending to start a catering business and offers loans up to INR 50,000. This credit can be used to purchase kitchen essentials, gas connections, raw materials etc. and has a repayment period of 3 years.
  • Stree Shakti – This scheme is for the benefit of women who have undergone the “Entrepreneur Development Programme” (EDP training). Loans of up to INR 50 Lakhs can be availaed under this scheme at a lower rate of interest.

Oriental Bank of Commerce

OBC has introduced following 2 schemes for self-employed women and women keen on setting up a beauty salon –

  • Scheme for beauty salons / boutiques – Under this scheme loan up to INR 10 Lakh is offered to set up a beauty salon, boutique or tailoring center.
  • Scheme for self-employed women – Loan extended under this scheme can be utilized to purchase fixed assets to enhance or start a business. The maximum loan amount is INR 5 lakh, with a repayment period ranging between 5 and 7 years.
  • Oriented Mahila Vikas Yojana – Under this scheme, loan up to INR 10 Lakh is offered without any collateral security & in a case of SSI without collateral security up to INR 25 Lakh.

Punjab National Bank

  • PNB Mahila Samridhi Yojana – This scheme has been launched by the bank to provide financial assistance to women who wish to set up boutiques, beauty salons, cyber cafes, Xerox stores, telephone booths, etc.
  • PNB Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme – This scheme aims to reduce the gap in equity, helping women set up new ventures in the small scale sector or enhance their current undertakings.
  • PNB Scheme for financing crèches– This scheme aims to provide financial assistance to women for setting up crèches.
  • PNB Mahila Sashaktikaran Abhiyan – This scheme provides credit to women who intend to establish small and micro enterprises in the non-farm sector, offering fee waiver and lower interest rate.
  • PNB Kalyani Card Scheme – This scheme provides loans for women engaged in agricultural, farm or non-farm activities.

Bank of Baroda

Akshaya Mahila Athik Sahay Yojana (AMASY) – Loan under this scheme can be availed by women who are engaged in or wish to establish in retail trade, cottage industries and / or allied agricultural activities.

Dena Bank

The bank extends loans to women engaged in agriculture, MSMEs, education, housing and retail trade. The women entrepreneurs are eligible for a special interest rate which is 0.25% lower than prevailing rates.

Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited

Mahalir Loan – Loan up to INR 10 Lakh extended to finance all types of business. The loan can be repaid within 7 years, with the interest rate depending on the quantum of loan.

Syndicate Bank

SyndMahila Shakthi – Under this scheme, loan up to INR 5 Crore is extended to women entrepreneurs with a maximum repayment period of 7 to 10 years. Loan up to INR 10 Lakh is extended at a base rate of 10.25% and loan above INR 10 Lakh at 0.25% concession on applicable rate of interest. Under this program, the entire processing and documentation fee is waived off by the bank. Beneficiaries are also eligible for a free credit card and can undergo free training for skill development.

International French Bank BNP Paribas, in its Global Entrepreneurialism Report revealed that India has the maximum number of women entrepreneurs in percentage terms @ 49%, leaving behind countries like Honk Kong and France! With the rising number of women entrepreneurs in India, there seems to be a growing opportunity for all.

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