There are several funding schemes offered by the Government to support women empowerment in India. These aim to help women set up their own entrepreneurial firms, develop their social status, and address gender disparity.

3 Popular government schemes for women who seek business loans

Many businesses these days are led by women – women who are financially independent, wish to have an identity of their own, and be a support to their family. However, there is also a section of women in our society who do not have the backing or support they require to start something new. Apart from encouragement, what they need is sufficient funding. Not everyone may recognise these needs, but fortunately the Government of India offers some great schemes that can give women the right push when they set out.

Here are the three top schemes in India today that can help uplift and empower women in their businesses.

1. Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

For women who dream big, but unfortunately lack the resources to support their vision, the Government extends its support through a scheme – Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan. As the name says, the scheme is targeted at Indian women who wish to set up a business. The Government sanctions a loan for manufacturing enterprises up to INR 20 crore, with no collateral required for loans below Rs 1 crore. Special business loans are offered by the Bharatiya Mahila Bank, with an affordable rate of interest.

Here’s a list of important documents that need to be furnished at the time of application.

Documents required for Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan for salaried applicants

  • Identity proof: PAN card, Aadhaar card, driving licence, voter’s card, official ID card (proprietor, partner, director etc. of company)
  • Address proof: Aadhaar card, valid passport, utility bill, property tax receipt, etc.
  • Payslip of last 3 months
  • 2 Passport-sized photographs
  • 6 Months’ salary account bank statement
  • Latest year’s Form 16

Documents required for Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan for self-employed

  • Identity proof: PAN card, Aadhaar card, driving licence, voter’s card, official ID card (proprietor, partner, director etc. of company)
  • Address proof: Aadhaar card, valid passport, utility bill, property tax receipt, etc.
  • Latest 2 years’ ITR
  • Financial documents (P&L account, balance sheet, schedules to balance sheet and tax audit report); 6 months of company’s primary current account statement.
  • Your current obligations, i.e., other instalments (EMIs) you are currently paying, the number of credit cards, and the limits you have or use.

Proof of employment/business continuity for Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

  • Salaried: Form 16 or appointment letter, dated 2 years or earlier period
  • Self-employed: ITR or sales/service tax registration certificate, dated 2 years or earlier period

Property documents (in case of Hpme Loan or Loan Against Propery)

Under-construction property – allotment letter, proof of booking amount paid, and payment schedule.

  • Ready property – Sale deed, parent documents, property tax paid certificate (latest), Khata (7/11 extract), and latest EC.
  • Plot and self-construction – sale deed, parent documents, Khata (7/11 extract), and latest EC.

Eligibility criteria for Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

The following are eligible to apply for a Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Partnership firms
  • Public and private limited companies
  • Cooperative society
  • Minimum 2 years of work experience (in case of self-employed, minimum 2 years of business continuity)
  • Minimum age of 21 years and maximum age for 60 years (on loan completion)
  • Minimum take home income of Rs 25,000 per month
  • Co-applicant applicable in case of HL and LAP, spouse/parents/children

2. Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)

The government of India through NITI Aayog has started an initiative called the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), which brings together aspiring women entrepreneurs and the sponsors who seek them, both in one place. 

WEP provides numerous services such as free credit ratings, mentorship, funding support to women entrepreneurs, apprenticeship, and corporate partnerships. It also serves as a platform and community for women where they can share their entrepreneurial journeys and experiences, while learning and growing through others. It also promotes offline initiates and outreach programmes.

Eligibility criteria for Women Entrepreneurship Platform

Women entrepreneurs who are at ideation stage, have just started off with their start-ups, or have an established start-up.
Corporates, NGOs, research organisations, incubators, accelerators, etc. who can provide support in any form to women entrepreneurs.

3. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

Aimed at women who aspire to start a small business of their own – such as beauty parlours, tailoring units, or tuition centres – this scheme sanctions loans of up to Rs 10 lakh, starting from Rs 50,000.

There are three plans offered under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana:

  • Shishu: Loans up to Rs 50,000 for new businesses
  • Kishor: Loans from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh for well-established enterprises
  • Tarun: Loans between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for expanding businesses

Documents required for Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

  • Valid photo identity proof
  • Current address proof
  • Proof of income - Latest ITR/ financial docs of income
  • Previous 6 months’ bank statement
  • Loan application form
  • Ownership proof of residence/office
  • Proof of continuity of business
  • Trade references

Last words

While such schemes may only provide a start, they are proving to be a great initiative. Thanks to them, several women today have been able to embark on a career, support their families, and feel self-sufficient. Platform like these give women the courage to come forward and take the first step.