A welcome change in India’s business landscape is the increasing number of women entrepreneurs. Government campaigns like Startup India, Standup India have certainly contributed to this by encouraging entrepreneurship among women. Business loans for women entrepreneurs are also conveniently available now as opposed to five years ago. Keen to realize their dreams, there is an increasing number of women seeking a bank loan for business. Yet the going has not been smooth for women hoping to join the startup wave.
Empowering women entrepreneurs
A lot is being done to empower women entrepreneurs in the country today, despite its slow pace. Government policies and schemes giving preference to women beneficiaries are a case in point. Schemes such as the Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDPs), Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD) scheme for women, Mahila Coir Yojana, Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP), Swayam Siddha are encouraging women to think big, and take bold steps towards achieving their dreams and capitalizing on business opportunities.
In addition, tech leaders like Facebook, Google, Cisco and Intel are providing a powerful impetus to women entrepreneurship. Through its #SheMeansBusiness and #SheLeadsTech campaigns, Facebook hopes to provide women-founded startups with necessary access to tools and mentoring required to make a go of a new business.
A recent Facebook study pointed out a key fact: “As four out of five women in India wish to become entrepreneurs, the country is missing out on a potential 15.5 million new businesses and 64 million additional jobs by not addressing the challenges facing such women.”
The study also revealed that if just 52% of women were empowered to start a business today, it would not only boost economic growth, but also help to build 15.5 million new businesses, and create 64 million additional jobs—all by the end of 2021.
Business loans for women
One of the key factors in promoting entrepreneurship among women is making access to business loans simpler. Approaching conventional lenders for business loans in India isn’t an easy task. For the most part, the traditional route to financial aid is fraught with difficulties with respect to application formalities, qualification, assets for collateral and time taken for loan disbursal.
Given our patriarchal society, it has been doubly difficult when it comes to seeking business loans for women. Apart from gender bias, women have had to face numerous challenges including discriminatory laws and cultural practices. Lack of easy access to formal finance mechanisms, limited mobility and access to information and networks has only added to their woes.
Rise in women-owned SMBs
A recent Facebook study underlines these challenges. While 29% of women cite lack of access to finance as a major impediment, 30% of women worry about personal financial security, as per the study. Additionally, 30% of women find themselves clueless as to where to get started. Despite this, the number of women-owned Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) pages on Facebook in India has increased seven-fold between 2012-2016.
This only goes to show how the small and medium business landscape in India is steadily being reshaped by the increasing presence of women. The surge in women entrepreneurs is also being driven by new-age financiers who are using technology to deliver easy credit.
Fintech to the rescue
Tapping into the largely unrealized potential of our women entrepreneurs would mean creating jobs. Easy business loans in India, courtesy of new-age financiers, are paving the way for enterprising minds. They are transforming the dynamics of lending in the country as well as offering stiff competition to traditional lenders and private banks. Alternative lending is gradually bridging the gap between innovative entrepreneurial ideas women have and the financial aid they require to make them a reality.
Fast, friendly and affordable alternative lending is sidelining traditional bank loans for businesses . Thanks to fintech, business loans in India can now be procured conveniently, through a 10-minute online application. With approvals received in minutes and loan amount disbursed in as little as 72 hours, business loans for women from fintech companies offer a refreshing, hassle-free option.
Alternative lending has other benefits too—no worries about offering collateral or inflexible policies. One size rarely fits all; and the same goes for business loans in India. The target audience may be the same, but every business works differently. The best part about seeking business loans through informal means is that women have the privilege of choosing from a variety of products.
Apart from offering financial aid in a simple manner, fintech companies provide additional services such as counseling sessions for women entrepreneurs on aspects ranging from resource management and marketing of products to skill upgradation. Such easy access to professional assistance goes a long way in helping sustain business growth over the long term for new women entrepreneurs.
Achieve your business goals today!
Given the increasing focus on ‘woman power’ the upsurge in business loans for women offered at attractive interest rates is only to be expected. No matter whether you are a woman with an existing business or an aspiring entrepreneur, a thorough search of special business loans for women online will yield rich dividends.
A business loan in India offered by informal lenders comes with several plus points, enhanced flexibility being a prime advantage. Aspects like convenient loan tenure, no pre-closure charges, easy repayment options, reduced processing fees and no hidden charges make alternative business loans for women a superior option.
So go ahead and pick the most suitable one from any of the several business loans for women on offer. The time to realize your entrepreneurial dream is now.