Government Loans for Women to Start Businesses: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

04 Apr 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, empowering female entrepreneurs is not just a step towards gender equality but a leap towards global economic prosperity. Women, with their unique perspectives and innovative ideas, have the potential to create businesses that offer solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. However, one of the significant barriers to their success is access to financial resources. This is where government loans for women to start businesses play a crucial role. These specialized financial aids are designed to give women entrepreneurs a fighting chance in the competitive business world.

The Significance of Financial Support for Female Entrepreneurs

The journey of a female entrepreneur is fraught with challenges, from societal biases to a lack of access to capital. Studies have shown that women business owners are less likely to receive venture capital funding compared to their male counterparts. This disparity highlights the importance of alternative financial support systems like government loans, which can help level the playing field and provide women with the capital needed to turn their business dreams into reality.

List for women’s business loans from the government india

1. Udyogini Scheme

Overview: The Udyogini Scheme promotes entrepreneurship among women by providing financial support for various ventures. It targets underprivileged and economically disadvantaged women, offering special priority to widowed, destitute, and disabled women in India.

Loan Features:

  • Loan Amount: Offers loans at low or zero interest rates for certain categories, especially those from below the poverty line (BPL).
  • Eligibility: Women aged between 18 and 45, with annual family incomes below specific thresholds. Special consideration is given to widows, disabled, and destitute women.
  • Purpose: Loans can be used for agricultural ventures, retail, and small-scale industries. For more detail visit:-

2. Cent Kalyani Scheme

Overview: Launched by the Central Bank of India, this scheme aims to empower women entrepreneurs without the need for collateral security.

Loan Features:

  • Loan Amount: Provided for business expansion, modernization, working capital needs, and setting up new enterprises.
  • Eligibility: Open to women entrepreneurs in small businesses, micro and small enterprises, professionals, and self-employed women.
  • No Collateral: This scheme does not require any collateral security.

3. Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan

Overview: Continues the vision of supporting women in business through targeted loan programs after merging with the State Bank of India.

Loan Features:

  • Flexible Repayment: Offers flexible repayment options for managing finances.
  • Wide Coverage: Supports a variety of business needs across different sectors.
  • Special Conditions: Focuses on funding startups led by women, with competitive interest rates.

4. Dena Shakti Scheme

Overview: Focuses on providing financial assistance to women entrepreneurs in key economic sectors by offering concessional interest rates.

Loan Features:

  • Interest Rate Concession: Benefits from a concession on the interest rate.
  • Sector-Specific Loans: Tailored loans for different industries.
  • Eligibility: Aimed at women who own and manage their businesses.

5. Stand Up India Scheme

Overview: Aims to facilitate bank loans for setting up greenfield enterprises in the manufacturing, services, or trading sectors.

Loan Features:

  • Loan Amount: Ranges from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 1 crore.
  • Target Group: Supports at least one woman entrepreneur per bank branch.
  • Purpose: Intended for the creation of new ventures.

6. Annapurna Scheme

Overview: Focuses on women entrepreneurs planning to establish or expand food catering units.

Loan Features:

  • Loan Amount: Offers substantial loans for purchasing kitchen equipment and utensils.
  • Eligibility: Primarily targeted at women in the food business, requiring no collateral for loans up to a certain limit.
  • Purpose: Supports the acquisition of kitchen equipment for starting or expanding a food-related business.

7. Stree Shakti Package for Women Entrepreneurs

Overview: Offered by the State Bank of India, it provides loans at reduced interest rates for women who own a majority stake in small enterprises.

Loan Features:

  • Interest Rate Concession: Offers a concession for loans above a certain threshold.
  • Eligibility: Available to women who have undergone entrepreneurship training.
  • Purpose: Covers a range of business needs.

8. Mudra Yojana Scheme for Women

The Mudra Loan for Women is part of the broader Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), aimed at providing unsecured loans to women entrepreneurs wishing to start small businesses such as beauty parlors, tuition centers, or stitching shops.

Loan Categories:

  • Shishu Loan: Grants up to Rs. 50,000 for businesses in the initial stages.
  • Kishor Loan: Offers between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 Lakhs for businesses looking to enhance their services.
  • Tarun Loan: Provides up to Rs. 10 Lakhs for established businesses planning expansion.

9. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme

Overview: Aims at promoting women’s entrepreneurship by offering loans to start new ventures in the small-scale sector.

Loan Features:

  • Loan Amount: Provides soft loans up to Rs. 10 lakhs, repayable over up to 10 years.
  • Eligibility: Directed towards women wanting to start small-scale industrial units.

10. Oriental Mahila Vikas Yojana

Targeted at women who own a majority share in proprietary concerns, this scheme by the Oriental Bank of Commerce offers loans from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh without the need for a guarantor and at concessional interest rates.

You can also consider this collateral-free business loan option to start a new business

Tips for Accessing Government Loans for Women in India

  1. Understand Eligibility: Ensure you meet the specific criteria before applying.
  2. Prepare a Comprehensive Business Plan: Essential for loan approval, outlining business idea, market potential, and financial projections.
  3. Seek Guidance: Take advantage of mentorship and guidance offered by many programs.
  4. Leverage Government Resources: Engage with government resources and centers for additional support.

Overcoming Challenges: Strategies for Success

Navigating the complexities of loan applications and meeting eligibility criteria can seem daunting. However, with informed preparation, perseverance, and the support of financial advisors, women entrepreneurs can overcome these hurdles. Leveraging the experiences of those who have successfully navigated this path can provide invaluable insights and guidance.

Looking Forward: The Future of Women’s Entrepreneurship

The landscape of women’s entrepreneurship is evolving, with increasing support from government and private sectors alike. These loan schemes are a testament to the commitment to building a more inclusive and vibrant business ecosystem, where women’s entrepreneurial ambitions can flourish.


Government loans for women to start businesses are more than just financial aid; they are a catalyst for empowerment, innovation, and economic growth. By leveraging these resources, women can overcome barriers to entry and expansion in the business world, contributing to a more dynamic and inclusive economy.

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