The 12th Global Conference on “Trade Liberalization and its Global Impact on Women Entrepreneurs” was held here today. Congratulating the Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE) for their efforts for promoting women entrepreneurs, the Minister of MSME, Shri Vayalar Ravi said “The MSME sector contributes to about 45% of the total manufactured output and nearly 40% to India`s exports. There are about 26 million MSMEs in the country, providing employment to more than 60 million persons. Out of total 15.64 lakh registered enterprises 2.15 lakh (13.72%) are women entrepreneurs.
Women owned businesses are increasing the world over. The hidden entrepreneurial potential of women has been gradually coming to the fore with the changing socio political factors in society. Skill, knowledge and adaptability in business are the main reasons for women to emerge into business ventures. Women Entrepreneur’ is a person who accepts challenging role to meet her personal needs and become economically independent. A strong desire to do something positive is an inbuilt quality of entrepreneurial woman, who is capable of contributing values in both family and social life. With the advent of media, women are becoming aware of their own potential and also opportunities for work and personal advancement. The glass ceilings are shattered and women are new working in every line of business from pappad making to power cables. They are flourishing as designers, interior decorators, exporters, publishers, garment manufacturers and still exploring new avenues of economic participation. In India, although women constitute the majority of the total population, the entrepreneurial world is still a male dominated field.
Empowering women entrepreneurs is essential for achieving the goals of sustainable development and the bottlenecks hindering their growth must be eradicated to entitle full participation in the business. Ministry of MSME has a range of schemes targeted specifically to help the women entrepreneur. Let me explain these schemes briefly.
With a view to encourage women in setting up their own ventures, the Ministry of MSME has a Scheme named Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD)’. The scheme envisages economic empowerment of women through the development of their entrepreneurial skills in non-farm activities. Under the scheme, the Government of India gives a grant of upto 30% of the total project cost to the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) for promoting entrepreneurship among women. The remaining 70% of the project cost is financed by the lending agency as loan for undertaking activities as envisaged in the project. Further, to impart skills & training to women entrepreneurs, a grant of upto Rs.1 lakh per programme to training institutions / NGOs is given subject to certain conditions.
Another scheme of the Ministry is the Micro & Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP). The Cluster Development aims at enhanced competitiveness, technology improvement, adoption of best manufacturing practices, marketing of products, employment generation and so on. The scheme provides assistance for capacity building, common facilities, marketing etc. the delivery, assimilation and diffusion of the identified technology from its producers to the recipient user of small enterprises. In case of the hard intervention the contribution from the M/o MSME for clusters owned and managed by women entrepreneurs could be upto 90% of the project cost.
One of the obstacles faced by any entrepreneur is the lack of physical infrastructure. Our Ministry implemented the IID Scheme to provide developed sites with infrastructural facilities. This scheme has been subsumed in the MSME-Cluster Development Programme. All the features of IID Scheme have been retained. To create physical infrastructure for industrial estate with more than 50% women enterprises central grant of 80% of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs.8 crore is available.
Yet another scheme for entrepreneurs is the Credit Guarantee Scheme. The Scheme aims to ensure better flow of credit to micro and small enterprises by minimizing the risk perception of financial institutions and banks in lending without collateral security. Under the scheme, guarantee cover is provided to collateral free credit facility extended by member lending institutions (MLIs) to the new as well as existing micro and small enterprises on loans up to Rs.100 lakh. The guarantee cover available is up to 75% of the loans extended. However for Micro and Small Enterprises operated and/or owned by women, the extent of guarantee cover is 80%.
With a view to encourage women entrepreneurs to participate in the International Exhibitions under MDA scheme it has been decided to inter- alia provide rent free space in the exhibitions and reimburse 100% economy class air fare for one representative. I urge all of you to take full advantage of these schemes.
Under the MSMED Act, 2006, a National Board for MSME (NBMSME) has been constituted to take up various issues for the development of MSME Sector. In order to provide representation to women entrepreneurs, this board consists of three associations of women entrepreneurs.
In conclusion, I once again congratulate FIWE for successfully organizing this event and wish them success in all its future endeavours”.