Gujarat: At 20,132 crore yen, new loans to women entrepreneurs increased by 32% | Ahmedabad News

AHMEDABAD: Even as businesses battled revenue shortfalls and faced working capital issues, new loan disbursements to women entrepreneurs jumped 32% in the 2020-2021 pandemic year. This growth rate was well below 8.2% in 2019-2020, shows the latest data compiled by the Committee of State-level Bankers (SLBC) -Gujarat.
New loans worth 20,132 crore rupees were granted to women entrepreneurs in 2020-2021, compared to 15,252 crore rupees in 2019-20. Disbursements increased significantly, but the number of beneficiaries decreased to 7.87 lakh against 8.57 lakh during the period under review.
However, the growth in loan disbursements may not be indicative of an increase in the number of women entrepreneurs in the state, the bankers said.
“In most cases, the business is registered in the name of the woman who owns more than 50% of the business. On this basis, the loan is also extended on behalf of the women, ”explained MM Bansal, organizer, SLBC – Gujarat.
“During the pandemic year, many companies applied for loans for their working capital as well as for other purposes and, therefore, the increase is also manifested in the loans given to women entrepreneurs”, a- he added.
“The pandemic has caused a major disruption in businesses in most industries. As a result, the working capital requirement has increased. People who had registered businesses on behalf of their wives benefited from these loans. At the same time, many were forced to diversify their activity and they did so on behalf of women in their families to facilitate access to credit, ”said a well-placed source at a public sector bank.
In fact, the interest rates on loans to women entrepreneurs are lower than those on normal business loans. Therefore, such loans are preferred, especially in times of crisis.

Many register biz on behalf of their wives
Bankers said loans under the Emergency Credit Lines Guarantee Program for Women Entrepreneurs fall into this category, which could be one of the reasons for the increase.
Experts said many startups and small businesses were registered on behalf of women during the pandemic year. “The credit could also have been used by many women entrepreneurs who registered their businesses. Women-led businesses have also emerged in the service sector, ”said Pathik Patwari, General Secretary of GCCI. The total outstanding loans to women entrepreneurs stood at Rs 60,965 crore in 2020-21, up 35.9% from Rs 44,851 crore in 2019-20.

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