Banks urged to encourage women entrepreneurs

There are entrepreneurship opportunities that women may be missing, said Madhura M. Chatrapathy, Trustee Director, Asian Centre For Entrepreneurial Initiatives (ASCENT).

She was speaking at a seminar on entrepreneurship for women, “Strides — opportunities for women in service and trading enterprises” organised by Corporation Bank and Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI); and Asian Centre For Entrepreneurial Initiatives (ASCENT), a knowledge partner of the seminar, in the city on Thursday.

Ms. Chatrapathy said there were opportunities for women entrepreneurs in sectors such as construction and medical transcription. “Electronic commerce is a big opportunity,” she said. Women entrepreneurs should look at opportunities in trading and services, and not just in the manufacturing sector, she said.

Ms. Chatrapathy said she had met a 22-year-old woman entrepreneur in Hubli who had set up a security services firm . In Bangalore, a woman entrepreneur had set up a business for the maintenance of ISKCON temple and the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam temple in Vyalikaval. “Are we missing opportunities? We don't even think of such business ideas. We aren't thinking or talking of opportunities available. Can we take a look at these options?” she said. Ms. Chatrapathy said to date, data on women entrepreneurs had not been compiled. She said she had come across a businesswoman running food joint, where she earned Rs. 20,000 a day, but without a bank account, and did not pay tax.

Banks

She said banks should appreciate women entrepreneurs. “What can banking do for women? It hasn't changed in 27 years,” she said. About entrepreneurship among women in and around Mangalore, Ms. Chatrapathy told The Hindu, “A trigger is required, the talent for entrepreneurship is very much there.”

Narendra Singh, Executive Director, Corporation Bank, said women entrepreneurs had good organising and negotiating skills, and were aware of new technology.

Corporation Bank General Manager B.R. Bhat said the bank would set up a single-window counter to finance women entrepreneurs. This would be done in eight to 10 days, once the bank gets the profiles of the participants and details of their business projects. He said the bank had been willing to lend up to Rs. 1 crore without security, provided the project was economically and technically feasible. “We will give clearance on the spot,” he said. About 100 aspiring and established women entrepreneurs attended the seminar.