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In order to encourage the spirit of women entrepreneurs and help the gender benefit from the state’s business ecosystem, the Government of Maharashtra has announced a special policy. It is first state government in India to announce an exclusive policy for women-led businesses.
Discussing the agenda behind the policy with Entrepreneur India, State Cabinet Minister of Industries Subhash Desai cited a survey conducted by Central Government where it was revealed that an average of 9 nine per cent women entrepreneurs existed in Maharashtra, while the national average is 13 per cent.
“There is need to surpass the country average and go further,” he said while adding that, “To thrust women entrepreneurship in the state, we have released this policy to support them in areas like infrastructure, real estate, transport, and capital.”
Public and private companies, including MSMEs, along with cooperatives and self-help groups that are led by women who have financed 100 per cent of the project or have hired at least 50 per cent women workers are eligible for these benefits.
Following are the five benefits a women-led business can enjoy if registered in the state:
Job Creation and Investment
With this policy, the state government is anticipating women-owned business in the region to go up by about 9-20 per cent. The government is also aiming to fetch an investment of worth Rs 2,000 crore.
The move will also create about a lakh of jobs across the state in the next five years. The government will keep aside Rs 648 crore for next year's budget for the same.
The policy also stated that woman entrepreneurs would get between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 crore financial assistance in a proportion of 15%-35% of the capital investment of a project at the subsidized rate of interest up to 5%.
No Man’s Land
For real estate acquisition, MSMEs can also avail an interest subsidy of about 5% for the payment made on the term loan to the bank or government-led financial institutions. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) across the state will also reserve land of shepreneurs.
The state government of Maharashtra is planning to set up about 10 incubators and clusters depending on the nature of business in the region. Inviting public-private partnership (PPP), the government said it will bear 75% of the project cost, which is capped at Rs 5 crore, of setting up an incubation center. This will however, exclude the cost of land acquisition.
If any commercial real estate developers reserve spaces for women entrepreneurs, they can enjoy additional floor space index (FSI) benefits. Women can use these to display or market their products.
For a wider exposure, women-led business will receive Rs 50,000 or 75 per cent of the rent in a domestic exhibition while about Rs 3 lakh for international events. Also, 50% of the expenditure for the exhibition organized for women entrepreneurs will be provided in maximum limit of 10 lakhs.