Stand Up India Scheme: Stand Up India is a scheme that empowers SC, ST, and women entrepreneurs to enable their enterprises by helping them to approach a loan from banks for the same. It has targeted to create 2.5 lakhs such as entrepreneurs across the country. On 67th Republic Day, i.e., 26th January 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, standing at the Red Fort, spoke about the issues that had hindered the work opportunities, while giving his speech he made an announcement which emphasized women, scheduled castes and tribes.
He introduced the Stand Up India Scheme with a vision, to create more opportunities to have more job creators than job seekers. The scheme then later, came into being on 5th April 2016. This scheme is a further extension of the Startup India Action Plan 2016 for enhancing more startups and new enterprises in India, and to put forward such big businesses, Government of India, look for the need to access loans to entrepreneurs, which is mandatory to increase employment among the people who are deprived of work, financially.
The plan has helped entrepreneurs in growing their scales and has expanded the boundaries which were limited because of the monetary factor. The scheme is applicable to all scheduled commercial bank branches in India. It is managed by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance, and Government of India.
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Stand Up India Scheme – Key Features
- Stand Up India, provides composite loans between Rs 10 lakhs and Rs 1 crore to at least one scheduled caste (SC) or a scheduled tribe (ST) borrower, and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for building up a Greenfield enterprise (A Greenfield project is one which is not constrained by prior work.)
- Under the scheme, 1.25 lakh bank branches will provide loans up to Rs 1 crore.
- Under the scheme, the borrowers will get support such as pre-loan training, facilitating the loan, factoring, and marketing.
- Refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10,000 crore rupees.
- Debit Card (RuPay) for withdrawal of working capital.
- Creation of an entity of 5,000 crore rupees for credit guarantee through National Credit Guarantee Trustee (NCGTC).
- Web portal for online registrations and other particulars.
In India for SC, ST, and women entrepreneur, there is a lack of access to business networks which provide support to fabricate entrepreneurship. Despite having skills and ideas, some entrepreneurs are not able to construct their models and projects in startups owing to a lack of monetary funds. They do not get subsidized financially. Credit is not available easily because of the lack of collateral guarantee required for taking loans.
Low literacy rates among SC/ST/women are the major cause of lack of employment, as they do not get basic and technical training. They lack awareness because of which they do not have access to job opportunities and hence lag from others, who are rich and are on the high designation. In India, to put the minorities at the front is irksome as they are deprived of enlightenment and needs that are necessary to build a concrete structure of the working sector.
In the women’s case, the condition is miserable. First, they do not get access to education from their early days. Second, there are many challenges and hardships they have to deal with while working and handling startups. Things have never been easier for female entrepreneurs. There are disparities that women have to face, often, despite owning firms. They usually get stuck in a male-dominated industry or a workplace that does not want to acknowledge their leadership role.
Getting emotional and moral support even from the family is tough as India is a patriarchal society that believes that women are intended to live a conservative life. This is why women give up. However, some of them accept the challenges and continue to work, but later on, they, too, face hurdles while getting low funds for their startups. Companies tend to wary of women managing startups. In our nation, employment conditions are at odds with female workers or entrepreneurs.
If to talk about the SC/STs, they have also faced adverse discrimination since the ancient history of India. Earlier, they were not even considered as a part of society, it used to be a very opposed environment for them, and being poverty-stricken, they were unable to make ends meet for education and other necessities. Now, for them, things have changed. There is not that much disparity as it used to be earlier, but yet there is a sense of inferiority imposed in the brains of majorities for minorities, and which is why they lack support, both financially and morally.
However, it is seen that many of the folks from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes have to leave left no stone unturned participating in the employment sector, with the help of Government Yojanas and schemes. Indeed, from the past few years, the Government has launched many plans and schemes to hit on the employment rate. It has been done to make the working ecosystem of the nation more productive and for all the classes of people. One of them is the scheme that we have talked about above, that is, Stand Up India.
Benefits of Stand Up India Scheme
- For women/SC/ST: Stand up India scheme, launched on April 5, ensures that women and SC/ST entrepreneurs get a fair chance in setting up their own businesses.
- Financial Inclusion: It has promoted financial inclusion as there are lots of availability and equality of opportunities to access financial services.
- Loans for women: It is estimated that 73% women entrepreneur failed to get funding from Venture Capitalists. A study based in Karnataka found that about 90% of women had only their own funding to rely on, while 68% found it tougher to get bank loans. This scheme has brought changes to overcome such issues.
- Refinancing options: The scheme helps not only just those who are in the initial stages of their startup but also those who are in midway of their venture but still fall under the startup category. Refinancing options have been provided through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
- Website portal: the scheme has its own portal where people can learn about startups and will get proper knowledge for the same. It delivers information vis-à-vis bank guidelines, terminologies and let borrowers know how to operate the e-platforms. All the requirements to avail the loan are online. Borrower can register online to get the loan.
- Connect centers near home: The number of SC/ST entrepreneurs is increasing day by day so are the number of organizations. According to The Hindu, there’s been a high rise of minorities’ entrepreneurs in Andhra Pradesh. Ergo, to cater the increasing demands Stand up connect centers are established at the offices of SIDBI, to facilitate the demand of loans.
- Engages more women: Stand up India has aimed to engage women more in the employment sector and is assisting women to set up their own enterprise. And the consequences are impressive as it has empowered women in a long run. Women are working and are sanctioned with the plans and motions of Government.
- Easy exit: A Start Up can close its business within 90 days from the date of application of winding up.
- No time-consuming compliance: To save time and money, various compliance have been simplified for startups. Startups shall be allowed to self-certify compliance(through the Startup mobile app) with 9 labour and 3 environment laws (for list of white industries which are eligible under self-compliance)
Impacts of Stand Up India Scheme
Although, after the launch of this imperative scheme, the nation has witnessed astounding changes in the working arenas and undoubtedly has proved beneficial for minorities. Though the economic-growth has enhanced, some drawbacks can lead to financial tensions. One major pitfall could be the aberration of politically directed lending, accompanied by loans. The effects of the scheme Start-Up India are significant. These are to be worth mentioning as it would give the reality check over the subject. These can show reality if the scheme has worked or not.
Women are no more financially unstable or unemployed. They are participating and are standing on their own feet. The gap between women and work has decreased. For startups, there are no hurdles in getting funds. More empowerment for women can be seen. The finite line of work has become infinite. A lot of startups have been germinated now; ever since the government introduced measures following with the special provisions for entrepreneurship, there is rapid growth in a number of organizations that are mainly owned by SC/ST/Women entrepreneurs.
The economy of India has expanded; poverty is diminishing in several parts of the nation. With more startups, there will be more job opportunities. Having regular installations of enterprises, there is a more urge to need for education. Youths are getting inspired and have become more materialistic for their dreams. Financial inclusion has been enhanced. Individuals have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs that are delivered responsibly and sustainably. It aims to enable proper financial institutions to cater to the needs of poor people.
The scheme has developed uniformity among the different classes living in the nation. Being a low caste is no more a negative factor against employment and work. The measures put forward by the government of India are bridging the gap between high class and low class.