EMPOWERING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
ASSOCHAM organised a National Conference on 'Standup India - Stand-up Women :Dri ving India's Economic Development' on September 18,2017.
While speaking on the occasion, Mr. Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh said that there is a need for multi-dimensional approach from different sectors including government, financial institutions, individual women entrepreneurs for a flexible integrated and coordinated specific approach for development and promotion of women. Investing in women and women entrepreneurs would lead to better growth in the country. Data from across the world shows that women owned and operated SMEsdrive economicgrowth and help in job creation.
The objective behind this 'Stand-up Women campaign' is to promote entrepreneurship among women, and also scheduled castes and tribes. This can be done by providing them direct access to resources and markets, help them secure easy loans and credit, developing innovative policies and tap the unutilised potential to its core.
This scheme is a part of Start-up India, Stand up India scheme which aims to encourage entrepreneurship. Among other things, it is dedicated to women and the members of scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST). This scheme will transform the lives of dalit and tribal communities.
Under the scheme, SCjST and women entrepreneurs will be provided loans between Rs.I0 lakh and Rs.l crore for setting up new enterprises.
This will help in creating 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs throughout the country as everybank branch will be required to provide two such loans - to a Dalit or SCj ST person and a woman. The system will personally guide each entrepreneur through the pre-loan and operational phases. The scheme will also familiarise the entrepreneurs with factoring services, e-market places and registration with online platforms and other aspects of web entrepreneurship.
The scheme aims to empower every Indian and enable them to stand on their feet. It seeks to convert 'job-seekers into jobcreators', said Mr. Maurya.
Demand for credit by startups is not as high as corporate entities, while they are more labour intensive. Nurturing these start-ups helps in their growth into larger industrial houses, he added.
It has always been a tall task for women to start their own businesses. Women entrepreneurs are doing good in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and if they are given proper support, they can do wonders for themselves and the economy.
On the sidelines of the event, the report of the sixth Economic Census was discussed. As per the sixth Economic Census, under the Stand-up India scheme launched in 2016-17to support entrepreneurship among the Dalits, tribal and women; over 16000 new enterprises have come up in areas such as food processing, garments, diagnostic centres etc. In a commendable development, there are a total of 8050819 establishments under female entrepreneurs in India. Tamil Nadu has the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs at 13.5%out of the total establishments, whereas North Eastern states are at the bottom, as per the report released during the event.
As per the report, Uttar Pradesh Information Technology & Start up policy is formulated to facilitate all stages of IT/ITeS industry encompassingStartupsI Entrepreneurs, MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises)
and large IT/ITeS Industry by providing best of the incentives with conducive policy framework.
The state has 482379 women led enterprises comprising 5.99% of total women entrepreneurs in India. Government in Uttar Pradesh is taking several initiatives to promote women led enterprises thereby, boosting employment in the state.
Women contribute significantly to the national income of the economy and help in maintaining the sustainability of the world community. They face many barriers majorly being sociocultural attitude, legal barriers, financial barriers and family support. They lack accessibility to easy finance. Microfinance is an emerging tool for empowering women.
The financial needs and support services required by women entrepreneurs will have to be researched and documented. Due to limited know ledge and experience in this area, financial institutions may have to begin the product development process with market research followed by pilots in select geographies.
Next, with an understanding of the needs of women entrepreneurs, financial institutions can focus on building a "brand" as a financial partner for women-owned businesses, catering to the full spectrum of their financial needs. A suite of financial products and services specifically tailored to the financial needs of these entrepreneurs can be offered, along with associated sourcing and marketing strategies.
In addition to developing tailored products and services and a "women-friendly brand", financial institutions can align policies, procedures, and systems to become more accessible to women entrepreneurs. Financial institutions can build "brands" as banks that serve women entrepreneurs through targeted sourcing/ marketing strategies, generate awareness about products and services, and provide tailored tools to women such as doorstep services, online, and phone support.
Since a key demand-side constraint is the lack of awareness of products and services, financial institutions should pro actively build awareness about tailored products and services available. Banks could organise workshops, seminars, town council meets, and group discussions. Such events offer opportunities to women entrepreneurs to have one-on-one interactions with bankers and get to know about financial products and schemes for women. They also offer opportunities for women entrepreneurs to build networks.
Training programs on human resources, financial management, business management, marketing, and financing the venture. These skills can be extremely beneficial in supporting women entrepreneurs sustain and grow their enterprises, making them long- term and better customers.
MSME toolkit to help women businesses at different stages of the business cycle -inception, start-up and growth - in areas such as business planning, financial projections, input management, marketing, market linkage, and branding. Women-owned businesses that are unable to engage expensive advisory services can benefit from this type of interv ntion.
A simplified collateral regime will greatly encourage women entrepreneurs and enable access. Governments may focus on developing an effective secured transactions regime for women enterprises characterized by a wide range of allowable collaterals (immovable and movable), the establishment of clear priority rankings of claims over collateral, efficient collateral registries, and effective enforcement of collateral in case of default. Governments may focus on developing a credit guarantee scheme to enable women entrepreneurs borrow from formal financial institutions in the absence of collateral.
It has been found that investing in women offers the most effective means to improve health, nutrition, hygiene, and educational standards for families and consequently for the whole of society. In general, women need access to small loans (especially for working capital), innovative forms of collateral, frequent repayment schedules more appropriate to the cash flows of their enterprises, simpler application procedures and improved access to saving accounts. Thus, a special support for women in both financial and non-financial services is necessary.
Mr. Keshav Prasad Maurya, Oy Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh releasing the Conference Background Paper along with other dignitaries.
Chief Guest (L-R) Mr. D. S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, Mr. Saurabh Gupta, A R Thermosets Pvt Ltd., Dr. Uditraj- Member of Parliament (Loksabha), Mr. Keshav Prasad Maurya, Hon'ble Deputy CM, Up, Ms Preeti Malhotra, Partner & Executive Director Smart Group along with awardees. Mr. D. S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM welcoming Mr. Keshav Prasad Maurya, Dy. Chief Minister, Uttar Prad~sh.