It’s the spirit of entrepreneurship that steps up the economic development of a nation. In India, women constitute around 48 percent of the population but their participation in the economic activities is only 34 per cent.
Every state in India is known for its unique culture and demography and this month we feature the states that observe their Foundation Day in November. Apart from the states already featured, on November 1 the states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu Chandigarh, Lakshadweep also celebrate this day.
The government of Punjab is committed to create a suitable ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in the state. Woman entrepreneurship will be at the centre of the bid to make Chandigarh a startup hub, ensuring that a range of incentives and support programmes are part of the startup ecosystem. Tamil Nadu has been scripting a new productive route for women entrepreneurs in the state. The 2021 edition of Women & Men in India, published in April 2022 by the National Statistical Office (NSO) of the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, reveals that Tamil Nadu, with about 10.87 lakh units, accounts for the highest number of women entrepreneur-owned establishments. And, Lakshadweep has the lowest number of small-scale units owned by women entrepreneurs, so there’s a long road ahead.
Here are some government schemes and incentives for women entrepreneurs in the states of
Punjab, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep.
The State encourages women entrepreneurs, creates awareness among women entrepreneurs on various state & centrally sponsored schemes. Handholding women who have business ideas, the state provides specific schemes to promote women entrepreneurship.
> Mai Bhagoistri Shakti Scheme
Focusing on empowerment of women through cooperatives, the scheme gets its inspiration from the legendary woman in the history of Punjab who became an inspiring/motivating figure for the great ’40 Muktas’ of the Sikh History. She is known as a symbol of power and faith. The scheme aims at strengthening women especially in rural areas; and it intends to help women for establishing micro and small business in rural areas. The assistance under the MBIS scheme will be available in any sector for imparting skills related to employability and entrepreneurship.
The highlight of the scheme is to strengthen their activities through training at convenient places, and also offers hassle-free credit and assistance. The scheme also envisages creation of backward & forward linkages by creating a supply chain for providing raw material to women entrepreneurs with the help of apex/ state level organizations. It will ensure marketing of products made by such self-employed women through the network of primary societies as well as state organizations like MARKFED & MILKFED. The scheme also looks at seeking and taking assistance, grants, subsidies from state and central organizations like KVIC, KVIB as well as Mahila Kosh etc.
> Bhartiya Mahila Bank and Punjab National Bank
This arrangement provides loans to women entrepreneurs – for setting up their businesses like beauty parlours, day care centres or crèches, and also for setting up Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and for setting up food and catering units.
> Startup Punjab
The growth of a state’s economy greatly depends on innovation and entrepreneurship, and the State of Punjab has a reputation of being the leader with rapid strides in all-round prosperity and growth. The State has excelled in various sectors across the spectrum like – Agriculture, Education, Health, Literature, Sports, Arts and Culture. The state enjoys top infrastructure, human capital, enterprising and progressive people who strive to transform every potential opportunity into a booming success.
Moreover, the state has identified that Startup and Entrepreneurship as the key pillar for – economic growth, job creation, competitiveness and wealth creation. Based on the Startup Action Plan of the Government of India and Standup India, and the Industrial and Business Development Policy 2017 of the Punjab Government, the Punjab Startup and Entrepreneurship Development Policy has been initiated.
The vision of the Startup and Entrepreneurship Development Policy is to develop the State of Punjab as a leading global hub for Startups and Innovation in order to accelerate the economic growth within the State and to offer large scale entrepreneurial and job opportunities in Punjab.
> Chandigarh Startup Policy 2022
This Startup Policy acts as a catalyst – in creating an enabling environment for innovators and startups to flourish and to grow. The policy aims at encouraging and enabling startups to grow through innovation & design and create a technology and venture ecosystem – for the youth to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in the state.
The vision is that Chandigarh startup innovation and knowledge aims at serving as a platform to develop and nurture a vibrant ecosystem to promote knowledge sharing, innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in Chandigarh.
The objectives are: to make Chandigarh an aspirational geographical and human resources base for high value startups; to invite the best entrepreneurial minds to make Chandigarh their professional base, and thereby build a robust startup ecosystem in Chandigarh; to foster collaboration among research and education institutes, Government and corporates; to galvanize the startup ecosystem and to provide national and international visibility to the startup ecosystem of India; to foster a culture of innovation in the field of Science and Technology amongst students; and to reduce the regulatory burden on startups thereby allowing them to focus on their core business and keep compliance cost low.
The Chandigarh Startup Policy provides for incentives in accordance with the Startup India Action Plan of the Government of India.
Keen to create a robust ecosystem for promoting innovation in businesses, the state’s own start-up policy, includes a dedicated start-up hub, a seed fund too. “The government’s efforts work to transform the economy of Chandigarh through entrepreneurship policies and we will see that we do not fail to live up to the expectations of its start-ups,” said UT Adviser Dharam Pal during an event organised by CII Northern Region, ‘Chandigarh Start-ups Session’, as part of flagship initiative ICONN 2022.
Looking at women entrepreneurship development in Tamil Nadu, it is seen that in the category of women’s entrepreneurship, Tamil Nadu tops the list. Tamil Nadu has a lot of unique features and some of its famous products are – Madurai Meenakshi Amman Kovil, Kanchipuram silks, Marina Beach, and Thanjavur paintings and dolls amongst others. Tamil Nadu has a wealth of resources and unique features, yet women entrepreneurs do face challenges. But, the women entrepreneurs are now learning how to reach at solutions, so many women entrepreneurs are confident to succeed. This is encouraging news for the country’s economic development. The government offers numerous programs to help women entrepreneurs succeed.
Exclusive Schemes for Tamil Nadu Women Entrepreneurs:
> Women Entrepreneurs India (WEI)
Mahalakshmi saravan founded this organization in 2013 with the goal of assisting unique business ideas with money, marketing support, and linking them with mentors. The major goal of establishing this organization was to provide a support structure for women who are self motivated and have new business ideas for growing their business.
> Tamil Nadu Economic Development Corporation for Backward Classes Ltd (Tabcedco)
The corporation provides loan to the backward classes through economically and financially viable schemes trade at a lower rate of interest. Through sub channelizing agencies, the firm attempts to develop the backward classes.
Micro Credit Scheme (Mahila Samridhi Yojana)
A loan of Rs.2000 would be paid to each beneficiary, with a maximum of Rs.3000 – need to
repay this amount in minimum 12 months and maximum 3 years. Loan will be given to the
members of self-Help groups and through self-help group.
New Swarnima Scheme
A loan of up to Rs.1,00,000 will be approved, of which 5% will be TABCEDCO s portion, with a 5% interest rate, and the other 95% will be national corporate share with rate of interest of 5%. Loans will be given to Entrepreneurship Development program. Under the terms and conditions of the general loan scheme, trained women will be eligible for a loan of up to Rs.10,000 from cooperative banks.
Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank Ltd
This bank offers the mahalir loan, which is specifically created for women entrepreneurs. This loan assists women entrepreneur businesses financially. They can use the money for working capital and other business-related expenses. It offers loan up to Rs. 10 Lakhs with interest on diminishing balance.
> Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED)
The Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu finance non-Government organization that aid in the creation of mass employment, women’s empowerment, and the textile industry. Around 2400 women have been trained in a variety of Income generating companies.
> Women Entrepreneurs Welfare Association (WEWA)
It has been assisting women businesses for the past six years and is currently going strong. WEWAs major goal is to broaden the entrepreneurial base and include various strategies to help women with their entrepreneurial ventures. Women are mainly constrained in tiny or micro enterprises, WEWA strives to broaden the scope of women entrepreneurs and help them to expand their business. WEWA aims at empowering women through entrepreneurship.
> Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Schemes
The schemes focus on promoting diversified agricultural and allied livelihoods, including livestock and horticulture.
The scheme supports
-Setting up modern dairy farms for production of clean milk.
-Encourage heifer calf rearing for conservation and development of good breeding stock.
-Bring structural changes in unorganised sector so that initial processing of milk can be taken
up at village level.
-Upgradation of traditional technology to handle milk on commercial scale.
-Generate self-employment and provide infrastructure mainly for unorganised dairy sector.
Pattern of Assistance: Entrepreneur contribution (Margin) -10% of the outlay (Minimum) Back-ended capital subsidy – 25% of the outlay – general category (33.33% for SC/ST farmers) Effective Bank Loan – Balance portion/Minimum of 40% of the outlay. Government of India will provide 25% back-ended capital subsidy to general category and 33.33% for SC/ST farmers of the cost of project subject to its component-wise ceiling which will be adjusted against the last few instalments of repayment of bank loan. Implementing Agencies: National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) is the Nodal Agency for implementation of the scheme. Commercial Banks, Co-operative Banks and Regional Rural and Urban Banks are implementing the scheme.
The scheme is open to organised as well as unorganised sector. Target group/beneficiaries: Agricultural farmers, individual entrepreneurs and groups of unorganised and organised sector. Groups of organised sector, includes self-help groups, dairy cooperative societies, milk unions, milk federation, etc. This scheme also helps in employment generation at village level as well as Dairy Cooperative Society levels.