In India, women entrepreneurs and members belonging to scheduled castes and tribes looking to set up a business of their own have faced numerous issues, mostly due to low accessibility to business finance.
To address and eradicate such issues, the Government of India launched the Stand-Up India scheme in April 2016.
The scheme is being executed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship among women and SC/ST communities.
The Stand-Up India initiative coheres with the CGTMSE (Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises) to enhance the business scenario in the country from the grassroots.
While the former focuses on a certain section of individuals struggling with the fund crisis, the latter encourages businesspersons to avail funds without the fear of default.
The Stand-Up India scheme facilitates business finance through various financial institutions. Loans under this scheme range from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.1 crore.
This loan will be accessible to at least one SC/ST or women entrepreneur per branch of a financial institution to set up a greenfield enterprise (projects and enterprises set up on unused lands).
The enterprise can belong to any of the following sectors –
Loans extended through the Stand-Up India scheme are composite loans, which include term loans along with the working capital.
Features of the loan offered under the Stand-Up India scheme
The features of the Stand-Up India loan scheme include –
- Accessibility – Loans will be provided by all scheduled commercial banks and can be accessed either by directly visiting the financer’s branch or using SIDBI’s Stand Up India portal or via the Lead District manager.
- Loan amount – Composite loans amounting to 75% of the project cost will be offered, including the term loan and initial working capital. However, this will not apply to cases where borrower contribution, along with other financial support, is under 25% of the total cost of the project.
- Interest rates – Interest rates at which Stand-Up India loans are to be offered will be the lowest applicable rate for financers. This rate is not supposed to exceed base rate (MCLR) + 3% + tenor premium.
- Repayment policy – The maximum tenor that will be provided to the borrowers to repay the loan is 7 years. Maximum moratorium period in this aspect is 18 months.
- Security – The financial institution may require borrowers to provide collateral security or a guarantee in the form of CGFSIL (Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Stand Up India Loans).
- Working capital – If the borrower wants to draw working capital up to Rs.10 lakh, the amount will be sanctioned through an overdraft facility by select lenders. In case the working capital requirement exceeds beyond Rs.10 lakh, it will be provided by the cash credit limit.
- Margin money – Stand-Up India envisages that 25% of the margin money could be provided through some other central or state level schemes. However, the borrower has to contribute at least 10% of the total project cost from his/her own savings.
All the features of the Stand-Up India loan make it one of the best sources of financing for businesswomen.
How can you avail funds under the Stand-Up India loan scheme?
Firstly, the entrepreneur must have an in-depth idea regarding how much funds his business undertaking requires.
Once that is sorted, he can apply under the Stand-Up India Scheme by registering himself on the Stand-Up India portal. To do so, an individual will have to fill up and submit the application form online.
In case the fund to be availed through this scheme seems to be insufficient, an individual can take his/her own time to consider other fund options. The most preferred alternative among such options is a business loan.
With the pre-approved features offered by Bajaj Finserv, loans are easier to avail. They also ensure hassle-free application procedure and faster disbursal of loans. These offers are valid on numerous financial products including business loans, personal loans, home loans, loans against properties, etc.
Government initiatives such as Stand up India are changing the business landscape of India towards the better. Public and private financers are also offering varied financing options as well to help fledgeling businesses kick start their operations.