Government Schemes & Incentives for Women Entrepreneurs in J&K


In the state of J&K, the government has adopted a holistic approach towards developing an ecosystem for women entrepreneurs. Essentially, to connect, collaborate and invent ways for scaling-up business and for building a strong women workforce too. Basic structures are being strengthened for women and youth, and resources are also being made available to create smarter enterprises and, to build the community in remarkable ways.

Here’s presenting some exclusive government incentives and schemes for women entrepreneurs in Jammu & Kashmir:

> Citizen Charter – J&K State Women’s Development Corporation

The State Women’s Development Corporation was introduced in 1991 under the Companies Act 1956, which implements development schemes for socio-economic upliftment of women, with special focus on women below poverty line and women belonging to minorities, backward and other classes.

Its main objective is to identify and promote women entrepreneurs and facilitate conducting awareness camps for identifying women for various income-generating activities for empowering women; identification of activities, trades for skill-up gradation training and thereafter, framing Self Help Groups amongst them for providing micro credit; creation of confidence and awareness among members of SHGs regarding women’s status, health, education, sanitation, hygiene, legal rights, economic upliftment and other socio-economic and political issues; and to empower women by helping them to establish income generating units by providing soft loans at a very nominal rate of interest.

Some schemes given by this corporation are:

a. National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC): Finance provided to women belonging to minority community.

b. National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation (NBCFDC): Finance provided to women belonging to backward classes.

c. National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation (NHFDC): The corporation helps women with minimum of 40% of disability especially by providing with finances. These women are also provided with educational loan and micro credit loan.

d. Sher-I-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme: This scheme implements the “Empowering Skilled Young Women, 2009”. The programme’s main focus is to create employment avenues for educated unemployed youth.

> Some Schemes offered by the Women and Child Department, Jammu & Kashmir

a. Development of Manpower in Bio Technology: It aims at development of manpower and infrastructure in biotechnology in the State. More importance is given to short term biotechnology fellowship and organizes seminar and popular lectures in biotechnology.

b. Science Talent Promotion Scheme: This encourages a competitive science culture in the State.

c. Scheme for minority women for establishing income generation units: Women below poverty line whose annual income is less than Rs 54,000 in urban areas and less than Rs 42,000 in rural areas are assisted.

d. Schemes for Empowering Skilled Young Women-2009: It provides various welfare measures for socio-economic upliftment of women in the society.

e. Jammu and Kashmir Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (JKREGS): This scheme provides livelihood securities to people in rural areas and providing minimum of 100 days of guaranteed work to them.

f. Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojna (SGRY): The scheme will provide additional wage employment in rural areas, it will provide food security; create durable community, social and economic infrastructure in rural areas and special emphasis to provide wage employment to women, scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and parents of children withdrawn from hazardous occupations.

g. State Sponsored Scheme for Handloom Industry: It sponsors handloom societies for participation in the special handloom Expose and State Level fairs organized by the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Government of India.

h. Craftsman Training Scheme: Introduced by Government of India in 1950 – to help steady flow of skilled workers in different trades for the domestic industry, to raise quantitatively and qualitatively the industrial production of systematic training, to reduce unemployment among educated youth by providing them employable training, to cultivate and nurture a technical/industrial attitude in minds of younger generation. Two Industrial Training Institute (ITI’s) were set up in Srinagar and Jammu.

> Kashmir Humanity Foundation: ‘Helping Hands for Humanity’

Providing quality education, healthcare facilities and livelihood opportunities to women in Kashmir is what this organization does. The specified mission is – to cater to the disadvantaged people of India; and it educates the poor and aims to have a world of leaders. This non-profit organization believes in making available equal opportunities to all.

> Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute

The institute was established by the Government of J&K in March 1997. It enables entrepreneurship development in the state. The institute started its regular activities from 2004 and it is established as a learning centre for entrepreneurs. It also enables entrepreneurship in all 22 districts through community organisation programs. It promotes entrepreneurship in gras root level through training programs and mobilisation.

> Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission Schemes like Saath, Umeed, Mumkin, and Tejaswini

In June 2021 a scheme was launched “HAUSLA – Inspiring her growth”, which was a comprehensive Programme for Catalysing Women Entrepreneurship in J&K. It was a 5- month programme with 100 women entrepreneurs on board, to start with. Then in May 2022, the inclusion of 4 lakh women in more than 48,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) under Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (UMEED,) with easy access to capital, has revolutionized women entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.

Initiatives like Saath, Umeed, Mumkin, Hausla and Tejaswini are making women socially and economically independent. Besides, JKRLM programmes are transforming the lives of rural women of Jammu and Kashmir. One of the flagship programmes ‘SAATH’ was launched on September 1, 2021 to help rural women become self-reliant. JKRLM had initiated a comprehensive mentoring programme for selected SHG members, who have set up enterprises under the SAATH Programme.

To provide a market linkage platform for about 5 lakh rural SHG members to exhibit their products and to connect directly with consumers as well as buyers, a first of its kind, UMEED women’s Haat was set up by JKRLM. UMEED women’s Haat is a women empowerment initiative by JKRLM – to bring the rural women SHG members under one platform where they can showcase their skills, sell their products and build connections with potential market players.

Expectations are that the specifically tailored platform ‘SAATH’ will be a major contributor to the socio-economic uplift of women in rural and semi-urban areas. Apart from making business ecologies thriving in rural areas, J&K will nurture existing enterprises into sustainable, high productivity ventures through skilling, mentoring and market linkages under Rural Livelihoods Mission. A steady rise of women entrepreneurs in J&K are being observed and youth entrepreneurs are transforming society in many ways and are ensuring economic security and prosperity.

The Jammu and Kashmir government is also empowering and encouraging young women through the ambitious ‘Tejaswini scheme’ by providing financial assistance for setting up gainful self-employment ventures, suited to their skills, training, aptitude and local conditions.

Launched by Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, in June 2021, the broad aim of this start-up funding programme for adolescents and young women is to make them empowered and self-dependent through their own business ventures. Under the scheme, female entrepreneurs are encouraged to avail financial assistance under Mudra from J&K Bank to the extent of Rs 5 lakh.


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