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International Women’s Day 2024: Planning to start your own venture? Here are 5 govt schemes that you should know!

She is a warrior. She is an inspiration. She is strong – she is a woman! The role of women in today’s workaday world is unparalleled. From education to business to leading the country as its President, you name it – women in India continue to inspire citizens.

This International Women’s Day, realise your dream and bring out the entrepreneur in you. Check out some of the government-sponsored schemes that can help you in your entrepreneurial journey.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Yet when it comes to entrepreneurship, there remains much to be done, to sensitize the marginalized and the others about the availability of the welfare schemes meant for them. The need of the hour, therefore, is for the womenfolk to come out of the shackles of ignorance and plead to reap the harvest emanating from the government-sponsored benevolent initiatives. It is only then the purpose of International Women’s Day will be fulfilled in terms of the effect intended.

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For instance, the all too impressive Startup India initiative by the Government of India needs to be explored and exploited to the fullest possible extent. This article seeks to showcase some of the purely women-centric central government initiatives within the banner of Startup India.

1.The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)

A scheme under the Niti Aayog, WEP is an aggregator platform that includes all the information and services relevant to women entrepreneurs. The WEB helps in enabling partnerships to bring crucial content, workshops, campaigns, and other avenues of learning and growth to its users from trailblazers in the industry.

The services are provided in 6 main areas – Community and Networking, Funding and Financial Assistance, Incubation and Acceleration, Compliance and Tax Assistance, Entrepreneur skills and Mentorship, and Marketing Assistance.

Both existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs are eligible to avail this scheme.

Also read: International Women’s Day: Building an inclusive future in the digital arena

2. Skill Upgradation and Mahila Coir Yojana

This scheme is helmed by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises under the Coir Board Department. According to Startup India, this is an exclusive training programme aimed at the skill development of women artisans engaged in the coir industry.

It involves two months of training in coir spinning and a stipend of Rs. 3000/- per month. The trained artisans under the scheme can avail assistance through the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) scheme to set up coir units.

3. Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women

This initiative by the Ministry of Women and Child Development is available for women from the age of 16 years and above. Under the scheme, beneficiaries are provided skills that give employability to women as well as competencies and skills that enable them to become self-employed/entrepreneurs.

Also read: International Women’s Day: British Council announces scholarships for women STEM scholars, details here

4. Women Scientists Scheme

The Women Scientists Scheme is helmed by the Ministry of Science and Technology that is aimed at providing opportunities to women scientists between the age group of 27-57 years who want to return to the mainstream after a career break. Through this scheme, women scientists are encouraged to pursue research in frontier areas of science and engineering, problems of societal relevance, and to take up Science and Technology-based internships followed by self-employment. This scheme also provides a research grant for a well-defined project proposal for a maximum of three years, covering the fellowship of the applicant and the cost of small equipment, contingencies, travel, and more.

5. Mudra Yojana for Women

An initiative by the Ministry of Finance under the Department of Financial Services, the Mudra Yojana for Women provides loans up to 10 lakh to women entrepreneurs who are heading and managing any manufacturing or production business, without any collateral. These loans come with low interest and flexible repayment tenure, for a maximum of 5 years and a minimum of 3 years. Furthermore, the Mudra loans are only allocated for non-corporate, non-farming, and non-agriculture-based businesses, headed and run by women entrepreneurs.

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