10 of the most prominent loan schemes offered by Indian banks through which women can fulfil their entrepreneurial ambitions

10 Bank loan schemes for women entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs have become prominent in the startup ecosystem, but they are an equally integral part of the rural and semi-urban Indian economy. Which is why banks have recognised the importance of a support system when it comes to meeting the financial requirements of women entrepreneurs. 

Related: Tips for women entrepreneurs to fund their business

Here are 10 of the many loan schemes offered by banks, keeping their female entrepreneurial client base in mind:

1. Stree Shakti Package (State Bank of India) offers loans up to Rs 50 lakh to women who have a majority stake in their enterprise. Loans up to Rs 5 lakh are offered without any security, and the interest rate is kept lower than the bank’s base rate. Applicants should have participated in entrepreneurship development programmes organised by their respective state agencies. 

2. Annapurna (Bharatiya Mahila Bank and State Bank of Mysore) is targeted at women entrepreneurs who wish to work in the food catering industry. Loans up to Rs 50,000 are offered towards working capital purchases and can be repaid in a convenient three-year tenure. A loan guarantor is required, and the assets of the business are used as collateral/security.

3. Synd Mahila Shakti (Syndicate Bank) can be availed of to meet the financial requirements of new as well as existing women entrepreneurs. It offers cash credit for working capital needs or term loans of up to 10 years. One or more women must own at least 50% of the business. 

4. Shakti Scheme (Dena Bank) also comes with the 50% or more women ownership condition. It can be taken for a variety of purposes, including retail, MSME, agriculture, or manufacturing. The maximum loan amount varies with the nature of the business; it is Rs 50,000 for microcredit and can go up to Rs 20 lakh for retail, education, housing etc.

Related: 5 Women-specific financial products you must take advantage of today

5. Cent Kalyani (Central Bank of India) offers up to Rs 100 lakh with a repayment period of 1–7 years. Women looking to expand or alter their existing business or set up a new business can avail of this loan. It can be used to meet day-to-day expenses as well as capital expenditures like machinery and equipment.

6. Udyogini Scheme (Punjab and Sind Bank) can be availed of by women entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 45. Loans of up to Rs 1 lakh are available at a reduced rate of interest and at convenient terms. It is meant to help those in agriculture, retail, and small businesses. 

7. Mahila Udyam Nidhi (Punjab National Bank) offers up to Rs 10 lakh to women entrepreneurs engaged in small scale industries or ventures like daycare, beauty parlours, purchase of auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, cars etc. The loan can be repaid over a period of up to 10 years.

8. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana (Oriental Bank of Commerce) offers loans of Rs 10–25 lakh without any collateral. The loan can be repaid over 7 years and a concession of up to 2% is given on the interest rate. Women availing of the loan must own at least 51% in the proprietary concern, either individually or jointly. 

9. Mahalir Loan (Tamilnad Mercantile Bank) offers up to Rs 10 lakh to women to meet their working capital requirements or (in the form of term loans) to purchase machinery, equipment, or other fixed assets. A business availing of this loan must have one or more women owning at least 51% of the stake, either individually or jointly. The repayment limit is 1 year for working capital loans, and 7 years for term loans. 

10. PNB Kalyani Card Scheme (Punjab National Bank) can be availed of to meet working capital requirements in agricultural and allied activities or non-farm activities. Women applicants should be aged 18 or above, and can be from rural or semi-urban areas. A maximum of Rs 1 lakh is offered as loan amount, which can be repaid in 12 months. 

With these various bank schemes, financial reasons will no longer stop you from achieving your entrepreneurial dreams. If you are already running your business and want to explore options for additional financial support, you can have a look at government schemes that can help women entrepreneurs in India to grow their small business