New Delhi: The Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship R.K. Singh stated yesterday in Parliament that key challenges for women entrepreneurs in India include access to funding, availability of market, family constraints, lack of confidence in business skills, gender bias etc. In order to address the problems in development of women entrepreneurship, different Ministries and Departments of the Government of India have been implementing a number of schemes viz Startup India by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) including Udyam Sakhi Portal by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) etc.
Startup India program aims to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country under which 10% of the total corpus of Fund of Funds amounting to Rs 1,000 crore has been reserved for startups led by women.
MSME has launched the ‘Udhyam Sakhi’ portal to encourage women entrepreneurs and to aid, counsel, assist and protect their interests. The Udyam Sakhi network is a platform for emerging women entrepreneurs of India to get support, to understand the current scenario of industries, and to receive guidance in various aspects of entrepreneurship.
It helps Indian women to start, build and grow businesses and create business models revolving around low-cost products and services to resolve social inequities.
Similarly, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program (PMEGP), is a major credit-linked subsidy scheme to promote and set up micro, small and medium enterprises and to generate employment in rural and urban areas of the country.
The maximum cost of the project under PMEGP scheme is Rs. 25 lakhs for manufacturing sector units and Rs. 10 lakhs for units under service sector.
Under this scheme, women entrepreneurs are provided 25% and 35% subsidies for the project set up in urban and rural areas respectively. For women beneficiaries, own contribution is only 5% of the project cost while for general category it is 10%.
All the entrepreneurs including women are eligible for 2 weeks Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) after the sanction of their projects from banks for financial assistance to setup their unit.
To encourage women entrepreneurship within the country, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (SDE) is running a pilot project named ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Startups by Women’ in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Germany.
The project pilots incubation and acceleration programs for micro women entrepreneurs to start new businesses and scale up existing enterprises in Assam, Rajasthan and Telangana. The project has the target to pilot the incubation program with 250 women and the acceleration program with 100 women.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship R.K. Singh in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 6 December.
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