Stand Up India Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship sees no gender. And in order to ensure that both men and women receive equal rights at making one’s own livelihood comes the Stand Up India Scheme. 

This scheme comes as a welcome treat to the outcries demanding feminism all around the world. In a world where start-ups are a trend, women should not face the proverbial “Glass ceiling” in endeavors of their own. 

To give feminism the boost it requires in the current Indian market which is gushing with start-up ideas and to offer a befitting platform for women alike, the Stand Up India scheme came into the picture. 

The Stand Up India scheme aims to primarily promote entrepreneurship among women so that their dreams and desires to own and run a business venture sees the light of day. 

What is the Stand Up India Scheme all about?

The main idea behind the scheme is to basically promote entrepreneurship at grass root levels for the main goal of economic empowerment and allowing the creation of platforms that complement job creation. 

This scheme was launched to coincide with the 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. The primary purpose of this scheme is to reach out to underserved sectors of the society in order to enable them to participate in the economic growth of the nation. 

The Main Objective of the Scheme

Stand Up India scheme facilitates bank loans between Rs 10 lakhs and Rs 1 crore to at least one Scheduled caste borrower or Scheduled Tribe borrower. The scheme also extends its support to at least one woman entrepreneur per bank brand to set up a Greenfield enterprise. 

There are three supporting pillars which aim at supporting enterprise promotion among entrepreneurs from the SC / ST and women category. These pillars are:

  1. Handholding Support
  2. Providing Information on Financing
  3. Credit Guarantee

Potential entrepreneurs who 

How does one get eligible for this scheme?

The eligibility criteria for the Stand Up scheme are:

  • SC/ST and/or woman entrepreneurs above 18 years of age
  • Loans under the stand up scheme are available only for Greenfield projects. Greenfield in this context refers to first time ventures of the beneficiary of the loan in the manufacturing, services or trading sectors. 
  • If it happens to be a case of a non-individual enterprise (cases like a partnership start-up), then 51% of the shareholding and controlling stake should either be held by either SC/ST and/or Woman entrepreneur. 
  • The beneficiary should not be in default to any bank/financial institution. 

Nature of the Loan offered: 

The nature of the loans offered is Composite loans which are inclusive of term loan and working capital for start-ups. This composite loan offered by the Stand-Up India initiative is from INR 10 Lakh and up to INR 1 Crore. 

The size of the Loan offered: 

The composite loan offered would of 75% of the project cost which would be inclusive of the term loan and the working capital. The stipulation of the loan being expected to cover 75% of the project would not hold true if the borrower’s contribution along with the convergence support from another scheme exceeds 25% of the project. 

The Interest rate: 

The interest rate on the loan offered to the entrepreneurs would be the lowest possible rate of the bank for that specific category aimed to not exceed. These low-interest rates make it easier for entrepreneurs to take business decisions without being under the pressure of having to pay up the money they borrowed. 

Sound decision-making is crucial to the overall success of the business and the Initiative tends to understand that sentiment. 

Security offered by the loan: 

Though there are basic security parameters offered to the borrower, however,  the loan may be also secured by collateral security or guarantee of credit Guarantee fund scheme for Stand-Up India Loans as decided by the concerned Banks. 

Repayment tenure:

Businesses can take a while to take off. There also is no definite amount of time an entrepreneur can give as to when she/he would start reaping profits from their endeavors. So in order to rope in the uncertainties, the Stand-Up India loans offer 7-year repayment tenure with a maximum moratorium period of 18 months. 

Margin Money

The Stand-Up India scheme envisages 25% margin money which can be provided in convergence with eligible Central / State schemes. While such schemes can be drawn for admissible subsidies or for meeting margin money requirements the borrower will be required to bring a minimum of 10% of the project cost as her own contribution. 

In conclusion

Getting started with your own enterprise is often empowering. In the current scenario, where anyone can actually create means of livelihood for oneself, empowering women is a must. 

For the longest time, the underserved of the nation have lived in economic misery and poverty; feeling hopeless. But this is where the change happens. This is where poverty has to end. And Stand-Up India ensures that every person with an idea now has a chance to make her dreams come true. Ideas no longer get lost in the dark of oblivion, but they now shine with hope, thanks to this initiative by the Government. 

Offering them with a platform on which they can build their own legacy will lead to innovations and development hitherto unheard and unseen of. A positive change of the nation’s economic status stands at our doorsteps.

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