January 17: Women entrepreneurs complain of overly complicated loan approval processes in banks and financial institutions.
Participants of the financial literacy interaction programme organized jointly by New Business Age Pvt Ltd and Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) in Birgunj on Thursday expressed this frustration.
Even though the government has adopted a policy of granting loans to women entrepreneurs without any collateral, the entrepreneurs themselves claim of not having easy access to the loans. They claim that the overly complicated process is preventing the target group (women entrepreneurs) from reaping the benefits of this government policy.
New Business Age has been organizing interaction and training programmes for women entrepreneurs in 10 different industrial cities in coordination with the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI). These programmes are aimed at making the upcoming Business Women Awards as effective as possible. The award is being organized by New Business Age in March.
Speaking at the event, Rima Sah, head of the Cottage and Small Industry Office, Parsa stated that men still run the industries, even if they are registered under a woman’s name. “The industries are registered in a woman’s name to take advantage of various subsidies,” she said adding, “But women don’t have any role in the actual running of such industries, which is preventing them from becoming true entrepreneurs.”
Anil Kumar Agrawal, vice president of BCCI, said that the chamber was always working towards developing women entrepreneurship. “We have even set up a sub-committee and organize various training programs for women,” he said. He was joined by BCCI Secretary-General Madhav Rajpal who said that the chamber was committed to solving the problems faced by women entrepreneurs. BCCI Joint Secretary Arvind Amatya stressed the need to train women in various fields of entrepreneurship. Similarly, entrepreneur Chanchala Das stated that in addition to loans, women entrepreneurs also faced problems in marketing their products.
The interaction was moderated by TP Bhusal, chief reporter of Aarthik Abhiyan Daily (published by New Business Age) and Bal Singh Pokharel, the company’s marketing manager. The title sponsor of the programme is Standard Chartered Bank Limited and it was organized in association with Muktinath Development Bank. FNCCI along with chambers of 10 different districts and Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs' Association of Nepal (FEWAN) are associate partners for the event while Star Hospital is the medical partner. The programme is also supported by Sitaram Gokul Milks, Nimbus Group, Progressive Finance and Reliable Life Insurance.
Upcoming programmes will be held in Hetauda, Narayangadh, Pokhara, Surkhet and Dhangadhi. The programmes have already been held in Birtamod, Biratnagarand Janakpur.