STANDUP INDIA SCHEME: Overview, its Objective, Eligibility Criteria, etc.

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Stand-Up India Scheme For Financing SC/ST And Women Entrepreneurs




As India is growing at a rapid phase, there is rising participation of people in terms of entrepreneurship. Understanding this requirement, the government of India launched the Stand Up India Scheme in 2015.

The Scheme promotes entrepreneurship at the grassroots level, encourages all Indian citizens to break the gender and caste barriers, and boosts socio-economic empowerment and job creation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women. Currently, this Scheme has been extended till 2025.

Six years after the launch of the Standup India Scheme in 2015, it has achieved significance in providing aid and financial assistance to SC, ST and Women Entrepreneurs. 

As per data from the Ministry of Finance on April 2022, the Standup India Scheme has extended loans of more than Rs.30,000 crore and benefited around 1.34 lakh people of the sections (Intended section 15 lakh) of that SC/ST accounted for 25,745. It worked great in enabling women entrepreneurs in particular.

In this article, we will get into the details of the Standup India Scheme. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this article may help secure the much-needed funding for your business.

WHAT IS THE STANDUP INDIA SCHEME?

Standup India Scheme is for all aspiring entrepreneurs to get the much-needed fund as a bank loan and other support they need to succeed in their business journey. The programme recognizes the challenges Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and women entrepreneurs face in setting up enterprises, obtaining loans and other support needed from time to time for success in business.

So, to enable a supportive environment for setting up and doing business, the Scheme intended to bank loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 Crore to 1.25 lakhs Entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Women across 1.25 lakh branches of the banks.

It is to be carried out by the banks in providing loans to at least one SC and ST borrower and at least one women borrower per bank branch without the collateral requirement for setting up greenfield enterprises. 

OBJECTIVE OF STANDUP INDIA SCHEME:
 

  1. The core objective of the Standup India Scheme is to provide financing to entrepreneurs in SC/ST or Women category.
  2. Provide loans for Greenfield Entreprises in manufacturing, service sector or other allied agriculture activities. 
  3. Banks should provide loans with a minimum of Rs. 10 lakhs to a maximum limit of up to Rs 1 Crore to at least one SC or ST or Women's borrower per bank branch.

The Scheme covers all the scheduled commercial banks, and the potential borrower can get access to the Standup India Scheme loan in three different ways:

  1. The borrower can directly reach out to the bank branch (or)
  2. The borrower can apply through Standup India Scheme Online Portal  (or)
  3. The borrower can access the loan through Lead District Manager (LDM).

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR STANDUP INDIA SCHEME:

  1. All Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe or women entrepreneurs, above 18 years of age.
  2. The loans disbursed to the beneficiaries under this scheme is only for greenfield projects. In the context of this scheme, all the first-time venture in manufacturing, services or the trading sector and all agriculture-allied activities are referred as Greenfield Projects.
  3. If the entity is owned in partnership with others (non-individual entity), then 51% ownership of the entity and controlling stake of the company should be held by the either SC/ST or Women Entrepreneurs.
  4. There shold not be any default by the borrower to any bank or financial institutions. 


STANDUP INDIA LOAN: NATURE and SIZE OF LOANS

The loan amount disbursed under this scheme is a composite loan (inclusive of term loan and working capital) minimum of Rs. 10 lakhs and the maximum of upto Rs. 1 Crore.

The beneficiary entrepreneur will get 85% of the project cost as a composite loan as term loan and working capital. This 85% of the project cost would not apply if the borrower’s contribution to teh project along with convergence support from other funding schemes is beyond 15% of the project cost. 

The repayment of loan can be done in a period of  seven years and it comes with a moratorium period of 18 months. 

Government extends teh collateral fre coverage of Standup India Loan Scheme by setting up the Credit Guarantee Fund for Stand-Up India (CGFSI).

Rate of Interest For Loans Disbursed under Standup India Scheme:
The scheme promises to provide collateral free loan at the lowest applicable interest rate of bank at that category and should not to exceed
Base Rate by (MCLR) + 3% + tenor premium

KEY CHANGES MADE TO THE SCHEME:

In Financial Year 2021-22, the government of India brought in some changes to the Standup India Scheme: 

  1. The margin money that the borrower needs to bring has been reduced from “maximum of 25%” to “maximum of 15%” of the project cost. However, the borrower will continue to contribute at least 10% of the project cost as own contribution. This margin money is in convergence with the all eligible government funding schemes of centre and state.
  2. The banks should disburse loans for all the enterprises engaged in “Activites Allied to Agriculture”. 

Example: Pisciculture, Beekeeping, rearing, poultry, reading, livestock, dairy, fishery, agribusiness cneteres, food processing, sorting, aggregation of agro industries, etc. 

HANDHOLDING SUPPORT:

Apart from providing credit facility, Stand Up India Scheme also envisages extending handholding support to the potential borrowers. It also provides for convergence with Central/State Government schemes.

Apart from linking potential borrowers to the banks to avail loans through the STNDUPMITRA - online portal  developed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for Stand-Up India Scheme is also providing guidance to prospective entrepreneurs.

The SIDBI assist the entrepreneurs to setup  business enterprises, starting from training to filling up loan applications, as per bank requirements. 

SIDBI does this with big network of around 8000 Handholding agencies. The agencies acts as a catalyst and will provide step-by-step guidance to the  prospective borrowers to various agencies with specific expertise viz. Skilling Centres, Mentorship support, Entrepreneurship Development Program Centres, District Industries Centre.

Along with handholding support, they also perform awareness generation, convergence with other related schemes, to bring a larger impact in their entrepreneurial journey.

CONCLUSION:

Standup India Scheme plays a significant role in nurturing the entrepreneurial dreams of the millions of youth of this country, irrespective of the existing differences in the name of caste, gender, etc. Most women and people from underprivileged backgrounds dominantly contribute to the service sector. 

Enabling people through funding schemes like this will provide an institutional framework and support services for women and SC/ST entrepreneurs to begin in the manufacturing sector.

Standup India Scheme also helps SC/ST people uplift and free themselves from the clutches of the discriminatory practises in society and realise the Gandhian directive principle of encouraging village and cottage industries could be fully and meaningfully.


Author : Dharani

Date     : 28-Oct-2022


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