Are You a Woman Entrepreneur? Explore these Startup India Schemes

A lot of women in India are interested in embarking on their startup journey and these schemes by the Indian government under Startup India can boost their entrepreneurial journey. Let's take a look at the top schemes run by Startup India for women.

Sonu Vivek
02 Jun 2023
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The Indian Government led by PM Modi has been vocal about fostering entrepreneurship and startups in India. The government has launched a number of initiatives to help develop a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. A lot of women in India are interested in embarking on their startup journey and these schemes by the Indian government under Startup India can boost their entrepreneurial journey. 

Let's take a look at the top schemes run by Startup India for women. 

Women Entrepreneurship Platform: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

What is Women Entrepreneurship Platform?

The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is operated by Niti Aayog and serves as an aggregator platform for women entrepreneurs. It provides access to information, services, and partnerships aimed at supporting the growth and development of women-led businesses.

What are the benefits of Women Entrepreneurship Platform?

  1. Community and Networking: Connects women entrepreneurs with a supportive community and opportunities for networking.
  2. Funding and Financial Assistance: Provides information and resources for accessing funding and financial support.
  3. Incubation and Acceleration: Facilitates access to incubation and acceleration programs for business growth.
  4. Compliance and Tax Assistance: Offers guidance and support in navigating compliance and tax-related matters.
  5. Entrepreneur Skilling and Mentorship: Provides avenues for skill development and mentorship to enhance entrepreneurial capabilities.
  6. Marketing Assistance: Offers assistance and resources to support marketing and promotion activities.

Who can benefit from the Women Entrepreneurship Platform?

The platform is open to existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs seeking resources, guidance, and support to establish and grow their businesses.

The Women Entrepreneurship Platform aims to empower women entrepreneurs by providing them with a centralized platform for accessing relevant information, services, and partnerships. Through its various focus areas, WEP strives to foster a supportive ecosystem and enable the success and growth of women-led businesses.

To know more about the scheme click here.

Mahila Samridhi Yojana: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs through Self-Employment Lending Scheme

What is the Mahila Samridhi Yojana? 

Under the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation runs the Mahila Samridhi Yojana. This scheme focuses on providing self-employment opportunities to women through credit support.

What are the benefits of Mahila Samridhi Yojana?

  • The program begins by training a group of approximately 20 women in a women-friendly craft activity. During the training, the group forms a Self Help Group (SHG), and after completion, each member of the SHG receives micro-credit.
  • The training duration is a maximum of six months, with training expenses capped at INR 1,500 per month per trainee. Additionally, trainees receive a stipend of INR 1,000 per month. Both the training cost and stipend are covered by NMDFC as a grant.
  • Once the training is complete, each SHG member can access need-based micro-credit, up to a maximum of INR 1 lakh, at an interest rate of 7% per annum.

Who can benefit from the Mahila Samridhi Yojana? 

To be eligible for Credit Line 1, individuals must be part of a Self Help Group, with income limits set at INR 98,000 per annum for rural areas and INR 1.20 lakh per annum for urban areas. This credit line serves as an existing source of concessional credit for eligible applicants.

To know more about the scheme click here.

Women Scientists Scheme: Empowering Women in Science and Technology

What is the Women Scientists Scheme? 

The Ministry of Science and Technology runs the Women Scientists Scheme under the Department of Science and Technology. This initiative aims to provide opportunities for women scientists and technologists who have had a career break but aspire to return to mainstream work.

The scheme encourages women scientists to pursue research in frontier areas of science and engineering, focusing on problems of societal relevance. It offers three categories of fellowships with research grants for Indian citizens:

  1. Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A): Research in Basic/Applied Science
  2. Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B): S&T Interventions for Societal Benefit
  3. Women Scientist Scheme-C (WOS-C): Internship in Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for Self-Employment

Under WOS-A and WOS-B, selected applicants receive a research grant for a maximum of three years. The grant covers the fellowship, small equipment costs, contingencies, travel, consumables, and more. Institutional overhead charges are additional.

Who can benefit from the Women Scientists Scheme?

The scheme is designed to encourage women in the S&T domain, particularly those who have taken a career break or lack regular employment, to explore re-entry into the profession. 

Eligible candidates must have a minimum postgraduate degree or equivalent qualifications in basic or applied sciences, engineering, medicine, or related fields. Age requirements range from 27 to 57 years, with age relaxation for specific categories.

The Women Scientists Scheme opens doors for women to contribute to research, societal advancements, and intellectual property rights while supporting their professional growth and reintegration into the field of science and technology.

To know more about the scheme click here.

BIRAC Regional Techno-entrepreneurship Centre: Empowering Innovation in East and North East Region

What is the BIRAC Scheme? 

The Ministry of Science and Technology, under the Department of Biotechnology, operates the BIRAC Regional Techno-entrepreneurship Centre (BRTC-E & NE). This initiative focuses on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in India's East and North East regions.

What are the benefits of the BIRAC Scheme? 

  • Mining and assessment of Techno-commercial resource pool in the East & North East Regions.
  • Roadshows to educate aspiring entrepreneurs on the essentials of Techno-Entrepreneurship.
  • Capacity building training programs specifically designed for rural women entrepreneurs.
  • North East Immersion Program to provide a platform for learning, networking, and exposure.
  • North East showcase Event to highlight the innovative ventures and achievements of the region.
  • Design Workshop to enhance the skills and knowledge of participants in product design and development.
  • Incubation Practice School to provide hands-on training and mentorship for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Who can avail the BIRAC Scheme? 

The BRTC-E & NE is open to citizens of the following states: Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, and West Bengal.

The BIRAC Regional Techno-entrepreneurship Centre aims to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the East and North East regions by promoting innovation, providing training and mentorship, and creating a supportive ecosystem for aspiring entrepreneurs.

To know more about the scheme click here.

Stand-Up India: Empowering SC/ST and Women Entrepreneurs

What is the Stand-Up India scheme? 

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) operates the Stand-Up India (SUI) scheme, launched by the Honorable Prime Minister on April 5, 2016. This scheme aims to provide financial support to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and women entrepreneurs.

What are the benefits of the Stand-Up India scheme? 

  • The SUI scheme facilitates bank loans ranging from Rs. 10 lahks to Rs. 1 crore to promote the establishment of greenfield enterprises. 
  • Each bank branch is encouraged to provide loans to at least one SC/ST borrower and one woman borrower. 
  • The enterprises supported can be in manufacturing, services, agri-allied activities, or the trading sector. 
  • Non-individual enterprises must have at least 51% shareholding and controlling stake held by either an SC/ST or a woman entrepreneur.

Who can benefit from the Stand-Up India scheme? 

SC/ST and/or women entrepreneurs who are above 18 years of age.

  • Loans under the scheme are available only for Green Field Projects, signifying the first-time venture of the beneficiary in the manufacturing, services, agri-allied activities, or trading sector.
  • In the case of non-individual enterprises, at least 51% of the shareholding and controlling stake should be held by SC/ST and/or women entrepreneurs.
  • Borrowers should not be in default to any Bank/Financial Institution.

The Stand-Up India scheme aims to promote inclusivity and foster entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women entrepreneurs. By providing financial assistance and support, the scheme encourages the establishment of new ventures, fostering economic growth and empowerment.

To know more about the scheme click here.