For a powerful economy, the participation of women in business should be accelerated
The government, various non-profits and startups have taken steps to empower women and provide them with opportunities to succeed. In our research, we found many policies and initiatives that women can use in their entrepreneurship journey. In this article, we have compiled a few of the best ones we came across. These include not just financial assistance, but also mentorship and skill development to help women achieve their full potential in business
Government schemes for women entrepreneurs
PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM VIKAS)
Introduced in the 2023 budget, the PM VIKAS scheme is for women and underprivileged members of different communities. This policy offers financial support and training for entrepreneurship. Other components of the scheme include linkage with local and global markets, brand promotion and digital payments.
Bhartiya Mahila Business Bank (BMB) Loan
Under this policy, women can request business loans upto Rs.20 crores starting with an interest of 10.15% per annum. Collateral-free loans are available upto Rs. 1 crores. Women with beauty parlours/salons, food catering, daycare centres or small-scale manufacturing are eligible for this policy.
To apply for this loan, visit the nearest BMB bank.
Dena Shakti Scheme
Started by Dena bank, Dena Shakti Scheme provides loans up to Rs. 20 lakhs to women in the fields of agriculture and allied activities. There is a concession of 0.25 % on rate of interest. Microcredit up to Rs. 50,000 can also be availed. A concession or rebate of 25 basis points in the rate of interest as applicable to existing activities is provided to women beneficiaries.
You are eligible for this scheme if you have more than 50% ownership of the business. To apply for this loan, approach the nearest Dena bank branch.
Non-profits working towards business adoption for women
SEWA Bharat assists women in achieving economic empowerment by getting them income-generating work through entrepreneurship.
Over five decades, this organisation has promoted the growth of 150+ women-owned enterprises across different industry sectors in India. Their team offers women holistic services, handholding support, and skill enhancement to help them build financially sustainable businesses.
Gramin Vikas Evam Chetna Sansthan
A non-profit organization founded in Rajasthan in 1988, Gramin Vikas Evam Chetna Sansthan (GVCS) is committed to the upliftment of rural communities, especially women. They mainly promote artisans to make their handicrafts a viable means of financial independence.
They believe that along with skill development, artisans should also learn to use technology to their advantage and reach their crafts to a wider audience.
Related Read: Ecommerce for rural artisans in India: the story of Shilpkriti
Startups that support women in business
Sequoia Capital is a venture capitalist firm that invest in startups across the world. It’s Indian branch, Sequoia India offers the Sequoia Spark fellowship — a fellowship program that provides equity-free grants, mentorship and community support to aspiring entrepreneurs in India and south-east Asia.
Female founders who lead early-stage startups in fields SaaS, FinTech, sustainability, climate tech, consumer tech, Web3, HealthTech, etc are eligible to apply.
Pooji’s Opus is a handmade business that sells creative gifts, founded by Jaya Poojitha. She also takes online classes for women to teach them how to turn their crafting hobbies into money-making skills. Read more about her journey here. Jaya uses Instamojo online store to sell her products online.
Related read: How to sell handmade products online
Kool Kanya is a community that mainly focuses on career guidance for women professionals. However, they also offer a platform to connect freelancers with professionals. Freelancers can sign up on Kool Kanya’s marketplace and showcase their portfolios. Anyone who requires freelance services can browse through their catalogue and hire.
Harness the opportunity and take your first step
The coming years will see a surge in women-owned and women-led businesses more than ever before. And it’s encouraging to see how much support is available — some are for specific industries and some are general.
A majority of businesses that use Instamojo are women. Over the years, Instamojo has seen Indian women entrepreneurs who actively carve their path to financial stability and also create an impact in the world. They are starting businesses in a wide range of industries: From beauty to art, food to sustainable products, and even coaching businesses, women entrepreneurs are making their mark and showcasing their talents.
eCommerce is the way forward for entrepreneurship. With Instamojo, you can start your business journey online and showcase your products and services to the world.