TREAD – Invigorating Women Entrepreneurial Spirits

India is known for self-made women like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw to Kalpana Saroj, who shine as entrepreneurs and leaders. Yet, the Indian Government has been making untiring efforts in invigorating the spirit, and fans the flames of the entrepreneurial spirits intent in the women in every class of the society. The Government has been making efforts particularly to benefit the women in the disadvantaged sections of the country.

In this connection, during the 9th plan period, the Government of India launched TREAD (Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development) to improve the financial condition of women who have been catalogued along with the most deprived segments of the society in terms of having access to and control over the wherewithal. TREAD envisions the exclusive economic empowerment of women by providing trade-oriented training, counselling related to trades, products, and services.

Apart from counselling and training issues, TREAD envisages addressing the credit accessibility issues that the poor women face. With regard to credit assistance, there is a provision for Government of India Grant up to 30% of the loan/ credit maximum up to Rs. 30.00 lakh as appraised by lending institution/ banks. [1] TREAD attempts to reach credit to woman applicants through NGOs that are competent in handling finances in a proper method.

Such NGOs that manage the funds disbursement would also give the applicants sufficient training and counselling to take productive efforts for only those who are into any sort of non-farm activities, who have difficulties in gaining access to get bank credits owing to gruelling processes, and to those who are unable to provide sufficient collateral security stipulated by the banks. While the loan amount will be passed on to women beneficiaries, the Grant shall be utilized by the NGOs for activities accepted as grant activities in the appraisal report of the lending agency and capacity building of the NGOs. NGO, which has been selected for Government Grant will not be considered for GoI grant again in the subsequent two years from the date of release of GoI grant. [1]

The training and counselling programs are delivered through training organizations like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – Development Institutes (MSME-DIs), Entrepreneurship Development Institutes (EDIs), NIMSME, NIESBUD and NGOs conducting training programmes for empowerment of women beneficiaries identified under the scheme would be provided a grant up to maximum limit of Rs. 1.00 lakh per programme provided such institutions also bring their share to the extent of minimum 25% of the Government grant and 10% in case of NER, subject to the condition that applications from NER are recommended by NSIC/ IIE, Guwahati.[1]

Further, Institutions such as Entrepreneurship Development Institutes (EDIs), NIMSME, NIESBUD, IIE, MSME-DIs, EDIs sponsored by State Govt. and any other suitable institution of repute will be provided need based Government grant limited up to Rs. 5.00 lakh per project primarily for undertaking activities aiming at empowerment of women such as field surveys, research studies, evaluation studies, designing of training modules, etc. covered under the scheme. [1]

Not only MSME, the Government of India has taken various steps towards women empowerment and safety. Initiatives like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Stand Up India, Mission Indradhanush, Mudra Yojana Scheme, TREAD (Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development) Scheme, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme, Annapurna Scheme, Stree Shakti Package for Women Entrepreneurs, Bhartiya Mahila Business Bank Loan, Dena Shakti Scheme, Udyogini Scheme, Cent Kalyani Scheme and many more have added to the welfare of the women population in India. [2]

“The soul of India, lives in its villages”, said Mahatma Gandhi. Likely, the prosperity of India lives in the empowerment of women.



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