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International Research Conference on EntrepreneurshipWomen Entrepreneurship: Issues and Strategies for Financial Aid.

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  1. 1. 4th International Research Conference on EntrepreneurshipWomen Entrepreneurship: Issues and Strategies for Financial AidAuthor: Pratibha Trivedi (PGDM, Final Year) Prof. Rabiya Jidda (Faculty – Human Resources)Institute Affiliation: Guru Nanak Institute of Management StudiesAbstractWomen owned businesses are highly increasing in the economies of almost all countries. Thehidden entrepreneurial potentials of women have gradually been changing with the growingsensitivity to the role and economic status in the society. With the advent of media, womenare aware of their own traits, rights and also the work situations. The glass ceilings areshattered and women are found indulged in every line of business from papad to powercables.Empowering women entrepreneurs is essential for achieving the goals of sustainabledevelopment and the bottlenecks hindering their growth must be eradicated to entitle fullparticipation in the business. Women in India are facing many problems to get ahead inbusiness.This paper mainly focuses on funds (through financial institutes) as hurdle for most of thewomen entrepreneurs. Almost all public sector banks run special schemes to fund womenentrepreneurs; yet it proves to be difficult for women to acquire loans easily. This is partlybecause of the mindset of bank officials who believe that women will have to run that extramile to market their products, making it hard to make decent sales. Low awareness aboutthese schemes is another reason for their slow uptake. The research paper aims at exploringvarious schemes offered by nationalized banks, challenges that women entrepreneurs facewhen it comes to avail funding and tips on how to make the going easy.Keywords: Women, Entrepreneurship, Empowering, Risk, Funds, Schemes, NationalizedBanks, ChallengesIntroductionEntrepreneur is defined as the “one who undertakes innovations, finance and businessacumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods”. This may result in neworganizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceivedopportunity. The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new businesses(referred as Start-up Company); however, in recent years, the term has been extended toinclude social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity. When entrepreneurship isdescribing activities within a firm or large organization it is referred to as intra-preneurshipand may include corporate venturing, when large entities spin-off organizations.“Women Entrepreneur” is a person who accepts challenging role to meet her personal needsand become economically independent. Skill, knowledge and adaptability in business arethe main reasons for women to emerge into business ventures. A strong desire to dosomething positive is an inbuilt quality of entrepreneurial women, who is capable of
  2. 2. contributing values in both family and social life. With the advent of media, women areaware of their own traits, rights and also the work situations. The glass ceilings are shatteredand women are found indulged in every line of business from papad to power cables. Thechallenges and opportunities provided to the women of digital era are growing rapidly thatthe job seekers are turning into job creators. They are flourishing as designers, interiordecorators, exporters, publishers, garment manufacturers and still exploring new avenues ofeconomic participation.Constraints faced by women:In India, although women entrepreneurship is a growing trend, the entrepreneurial world isstill a male dominated one. Only 8 % of overall women entrepreneurs do paint a sorry picture[Source: Entrepreneur-Sept.2010].Women in advanced nations are recognized and are moreprominent in the business world. But the Indian women entrepreneurs are facing some majorconstraints like –a) Lack of confidence – In general, women lack confidence in their strength andcompetence. The family members and the society are reluctant to stand beside theirentrepreneurial growth. To a certain extent, this situation is changing among Indian womenand yet to face a tremendous change to increase the rate of growth in entrepreneurship.b) Socio-cultural barriers – Women’s family and personal obligations are sometimes a greatbarrier for succeeding in business career. Only few women are able to manage both home andbusiness efficiently, devoting enough time to perform all their responsibilities in priority.c) Market-oriented risks – Stiff competition in the market and lack of mobility of womenmake the dependence of women entrepreneurs on middleman indispensable. Many businesswomen find it difficult to capture the market and make their products popular. They are notfully aware of the changing market conditions and hence can effectively utilize the servicesof media and internet.d) Motivational factors – Self motivation can be realized through a mind set for a successfulbusiness, attitude to take up risk and behaviour towards the business society by shoulderingthe social responsibilities. Other factors are family support, Government policies, financialassistance from public and private institutions and also the environment suitable for womento establish business units.e) Knowledge in Business Administration – Women must be educated and trainedconstantly to acquire the skills and knowledge in all the functional areas of businessmanagement. This can facilitate women to excel in decision making process and develop agood business network.f) Awareness about the financial assistance – Various institutions in the financial sectorextend their maximum support in the form of incentives, loans, schemes etc. Even then everywoman entrepreneur may not be aware of all the assistance provided by the institutions. Sothe sincere efforts taken towards women entrepreneurs may not reach the entrepreneurs inrural and backward areas.To relate this with one of the women entrepreneur Maria D’souza, Kalina, age 38, has herparlour which she is running in rented place. She wishes to have her own parlour, and due tolack of fund she is not able to do so. As she is also not aware about loan facility provided bybanks especially for women.
  3. 3. g) Exposed to the training programs - Training programs and workshops for every type ofentrepreneur is available through the social and welfare associations, based on duration, skilland the purpose of the training program. Such programs are really useful to new, rural andyoung entrepreneurs who want to set up a small and medium scale unit on their own.h) Identifying the available resources – Women are hesitant to find out the access to catertheir needs in the financial and marketing areas. In spite of the mushrooming growth ofassociations, institutions, and the schemes from the government side, women are notenterprising and dynamic to optimize the resources in the form of reserves, assets andmankind or business volunteers.Highly educated, technically sound and professionally qualified women should beencouraged for managing their own business, rather than dependent on wage employmentoutlets. The unexplored talents of young women can be identified, trained and used forvarious types of industries to increase the productivity in the industrial sector. A desirableenvironment is necessary for every woman to inculcate entrepreneurial values and involvegreatly in business dealings. The additional business opportunities that are recentlyapproaching for women entrepreneurs are: Eco-friendly technology, Interior Decorators, ITenabled enterprises, Event Management, Tourism industry, Fashion Industry, Herbal & healthcare, Food, fruits & vegetable processing.LITERATURE REVIEWResearch by Viju Mathew and Mary Kavitha (2010), the involvement of women in theeconomic development of Middle East through micro-enterprises was very less due to thesocio-cultural restriction in the Middle East countries. The region has lately recognised theimportance of entrepreneurship for the economic development of the country and to createcompetitive advantage.A study by Nic Paton (2006) (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor), studied more than 100,000people in 35 countries has found that, while women entrepreneurs often exhibit patterns ofbehaviour similar to those of men, a gender gap nonetheless exists for entrepreneurial activityacross the globe Women entrepreneurs are just as likely as men to seek out newopportunities, take risks and network with other entrepreneurs – yet nevertheless findthemselves lagging behind their male counterparts when it comes to entrepreneurialactivity.Challenges: A practical pictureThough a number of credit schemes are available for women, there are several bottlenecks aswell. The first major problem is that while there is a lot of discussion on empowering womenand promoting women entrepreneurs, these bank schemes only provide a minor relief interms of interest rate and at times on collateral. The other terms and conditions of theschemes are similar to consumer loans. Moreover, in practice there is a major gap betweenpolicy and practice. Besides the project report, the sanction of the loan also depends on acase-to-case basis on the entrepreneur and the bank officer she approaches.The higher the loan amount, the more difficult it is to get loans. One of the problems is that itmay be easy for a bank official to give a larger loan to a man compared to smaller loans to a
  4. 4. woman because many smaller loans mean more paperwork. A woman mostly starts on asmall scale. So at that level, she faces difficulty while accessing loans. It again happens at thegrowth level, where a woman wants to expand and is in need of a loan. At that stage, theygive you only 10% more of their previous year’s turnover. This is obviously not enough.Besides, there is a need to sensitize bank officials. Neeta Kumar of Kala Gaon says, It tookher more than one -and-a-half years to get a bank loan. They faced a lot of problems as theywere artists. A bank even said why don’t they build malls instead?When Neeta Kumar, a 41-year-old entrepreneur from Lucknow, decided to set up anartificial village in the outskirts of the city, it took her a year-and-a-half to manage funds forher project. While running from pillar to post with her project report in tow, Kumar had ahard time convincing bank officials that Kala Gaon, her dream venture, would be a viablebusiness proposition and that she would not default on her loan. Her ordeal finally came to anend in the spring of 2006 when she threw open the gates of Kala Gaon supported by a Rs 60lakh loan from Punjab National Bank. Today, the theme village is a major tourist attraction inLucknow and has given a platform to several rural artisans and sculptors.Almost all public sector banks have special loan schemes for women entrepreneurs. But lowawareness and a passive mindset ensure that there are very few takers.Example of women entrepreneur is not aware about the loan and their scheme. Story of Sarojben who is 48 yrs. old with 2 children is quite common, an entrepreneur who has struggledand reached this stage. She stays in dharavi an area known as khumbharwada most of thepeople there are khumbhar’s [Potters] who make pots and diya of various type and design andsupply it across Mumbai, this is their seasonal business. Saroj ben also had same kind ofwork where she use to bring the diyas (lamp) colour them decorate them and sell to shops,but this business could not generate enough money to sustain their life. She is a drop out fromschool but had done beautician course, she decided to start ladies parlour to acquire someextra income. The initial requirement was a place for shop, material (cream, lotion, etc), tools(scissors’, comb, and clutches), furniture (dressing table, chair, mirrors). She had alreadyplanned everything and worked according to her plan, this lady was not educated but had avision. Her saving was not enough to support her dreams, she mortgaged gold got around 30thousand, she rented a room near to her home. This is how Saroj ben showed courageandmanaged to overcome the difficulties. This was the only parlour in khumbharwada chargeswere very normal Saroj ben could make her profit well. After 2 years she could buy a roomfor her parlour and they yet continued with their family business of lamps. After 7 years sheis able to purchase a flat for herself in miraroad.Take the case of Kavita Singhal, a jewelery designer. She belongs to a family that has been injewelery designing for years. Though her family was supportive of her decision to enter thistrade, she was in need of funds to start her own venture. Singhal initially found it difficult toconvince banks that she would be able to market her products and run a profitable venture.Eventually, she managed to convince Canara Bank, where she has had a savings bankaccount for many years, to grant her a loan of Rs 1 lakh. Today, she manages to sell jewelleryworth Rs 30,000 to 35,000 per month through her own outlet that she plans to expand in thenear future.Motivations to start a business include economic independence, family welfare, and anemerging clientele. Unlike family-owned or male run businesses, small and medium sized
  5. 5. womens enterprises are shorter-term products of cultural change focusing on upward socialmobility for their families. Entrepreneurship impacts the marketplace, bolsters a strugglingeconomy, empowers women in their household, and makes them cultural brokers in society.We have spoken to number of women entrepreneurs during the course of research and foundthat there is a common thread linking most, if not all of them. A typical woman entrepreneurbelongs to two broad categories — • She is either from a financially secure background and is willing to take risks with her own venture or • She is from an economically weaker background and wants to start an enterprise to sustain her family.Institutes or NGO’s who conduct development program or workshop for these women say“Most of the women who come to women entrepreneurship workshops are either from well-to-do-families, who think the risk is worth taking or those who belong to the lower-incomegroup and are interested in starting a business for survival.”Bank funding: Schemes and advantagesTable No: 1 Some Schemes for Women EntrepreneursBank SchemeBank of India Priyadarshini YojanaCanara Bank CAN MahilaCentral Bank of India Cent KalyaniDena Bank Dena ShaktiOriental Bank of Commerce Orient Mahila Vikas YojanaPunjab National Bank Mahila Udyam Nidhi SchemePunjab & Sind Bank Udyogini SchemeState Bank of India Stree Shakti PackageState Bank of Mysore Stree ShaktiSIDBI Mahila Udyam NidhiTamilnad Mercantile Bank MahalirSeveral nationalized banks in India have special schemes for promoting entrepreneurship,especially enterprises owned by women. For a woman to benefit under such a scheme, sheshould have a minimum of 50% ownership in the company. According to the bankers, “Whena woman opts for the bank funding route, the assessment is made in the same way as otherloans, but the terms and conditions are much favourable. Most of the nationalized banks inIndia have such schemes and also something called as the single-window coordinationfacility wherein one department will handle all the linkages required for getting the loan.”The schemes mostly give concession on interest rate of approximately 0.25 to 1%, dependingon the loan amount. The procedure for applying is similar to other loans, the benefit of suchschemes being that preference is given to women.
  6. 6. Table no.1 For example, under the Priyadarshini scheme of the Bank of India (BoI), theconcession on rate of interest varies from 0.25% to 0.50% on retail banking that includesseveral loans like personal loans. According to VK Bansal, Chief Manager, Zonal Office,BoI, “Applying under these schemes is similar to applying for other schemes. You have tosubmit an application along with the details of your business. Then it will be processed forinformation such as what kind of business you have applied for, whether you have theexperience or not, what is your own contribution in this project etc. If we find it viable thenwe go ahead with the loan.” The concession in the interest rate is also extended to otherconsumer loans. During the last financial year, the Chandigarh branch of Bank of India,disbursed approximately Rs 81 lakh to women entrepreneurs in 37 accounts.Similarly, Dena Bank under the Dena Shakti scheme promotes women entrepreneurship byfunding a number of activities. Earlier, the scheme covered only the manufacturing sector,but now has been extended to agriculture and allied activities, small enterprises, micro andsmall (manufacturing and service) enterprises, retail trade, micro-credit, education andhousing. Dena Bank gives a concession of 0.25% on interest rate. As per the bank’s website,the loan ceiling is described as follows, “The maximum ceiling limits that can be consideredfor financing to women beneficiaries under this scheme will be as per the directives of RBIstipulated for various sectors under priority sector such as loans up to Rs 20 lakh under retailtrade, Rs 20 lakh under education and housing and Rs 50,000 under micro credit as well asthe bank’s specific schemes circulated to branches/offices from time to time.” Consideringthe fact that a bank has to disburse 5% of the previous year’s adjusted net bank credit(ANBC) to women under all schemes, Dena Bank has a target of approximately Rs 1,185crore, according to a source.Example: Vinnie Chaddha of Reboot Shoe Laundry advocates the Dena Shakti scheme. Shesays that she had participant at the Business Baazigar reality show on Zee TV that was airedthree years back. Her idea was one of the favourites of a judge, so judge himself introducedher to Dena Bank. The bank, was convinced by the idea, granted her a loan under the scheme.She says, bank was quickly offered her loan of Rs 3 lakh. The entire loan procedure took justabout a little more than a week’s time and around five to six visits. On being quizzedwhether, knowing somebody helped to speed up things, she was quick to reply, that fundingdepends on a number of things such as the loan amount, the concept etc. In her case, the loanamount was small, the concept was very fresh and she was able to provide a guarantor for theloan amount.An added advantage is that some banks such as the State Bank of India (SBI) and CanaraBank have consulting cells for entrepreneurs. At Canara Bank, besides consulting, the cellalso provides skill training, counselling and at times avenues for marketing their products aswell. The counselling cells help provide a more realistic view of the business as they oftengive references of similar businesses and the issues they faced while starting up. During thelast financial year, the bank disbursed Rs 489 Cr. for women under various schemes in theDelhi circle, a bank source revealed.Some loans also provide relief in terms of collateral security. Take for example, OrientalBank of Commerce’s (OBC) Oriental Mahila Vikas Yojana. Under the scheme, no collateralsecurity is required up to Rs 10 lakh and in the case of small-scale industries (SSI) nocollateral security is required for up to Rs 25 lakh. The bank’s website states, “Onlyhypothecation of assets created out of the bank’s finance will be taken as security.” Whencontacted, a senior bank official said, OBC is one of the banks that have reached its target of
  7. 7. disbursing 5% of the previous year’s ANBC. Besides, the bank is also actively engaged inproviding micro-credit by providing doorstep services to rural women.Other nationalized banks with special schemes for women entrepreneurs are State Bank ofIndia, Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank to name a few.Table No: 2What women say What banks sayNot aware of special schemes Many women are usually silent partners, included just to get the benefit.A relief of just 0.25 to 1% in interest rate is Sceptical whether women will be able to marketnot worth the trouble their products and services.The process is too time consuming and Not many women come seeking loans for theirrequires far too many visits to the branch start-ups.Often do not get what is promised Have special cells for helping entrepreneurs, especially women.Objectives of the Study1. To identify the challenges and issues faced by women entrepreneurs with special reference to financial assistance.2. To find the awareness of the various schemes for financial aids provided by banks.3. To understand the attitude of banks towards women entrepreneurs in need of financial aids.Research MethodologySources of Data:Secondary data sources such as books, magazines, journals and websites were referred toarrive at an indepth understanding of various issues and challenges faced by womenentrepreneurs.Primary data sources included a survey which was conducted in Mumbai region. Aquestionnaire was designed to understand the level of awareness and the nature ofdifficulties faced by women entrepreneurs. The questionnaire included 16 itemswhich were a mix of open ended as well as closed – ended questions. Aspectscovered in the questionnaire included: Financial Source, Sufficient financialassistance, Constraint faced, Expansion plans, Role of banks.Sample was taken from Mumbai, sample design consist of women entrepreneurs Samplesize taken was 25 women entrepreneurs. This study was part of non-probability samplingcalled as purposive sampling or judgmental sampling
  8. 8. Results & Discussion The objective of this paper was to identify the challenges and issues faced by women entrepreneurs with special reference to financial assistance, to find the awareness of the various schemes for financial aids provided by banks and to understand the attitude of banks towards women entrepreneurs in need of financial aids. The questionnaire was designed to collect data from respondents with regard to their fund avenues for their business, savings and consumption patterns both before and after they had venture into entrepreneurship. After the data was collected, based on the percentages, values were calculated for each of the components and then recorded. This questionnaire majorly focuses on start-up and expansion finance for the business and difficulties faced during this process/phase.Figure: 1 The survey found that one of the main reasons for women to start their business that they have experience in the relevant field (40%), the second top reason is venture new field of opportunity as the earlier one could be saturated or new one venture has more chance of growing. 3rd important factor on the list was hobby, these women converted their hobby their passion into business which is fair enough as they do have liking and also have created. (Refer figure: 1) Similar research was carried out by Australian Business women network. Suzy Dafnis who heads the group also mentions that he has noticed many women’s who leave the corporate world, and start their own business for the reasons which includes: freedom to choose work hours and work location, working around raising children, being your own boss, setting your own salary, utilising your creativity to create something new, and of course - financial freedom.
  9. 9. Figure: 2 As per the data collected, 10 critical factors evaluated and identified as challenges faced by women entrepreneurs were listed in questionnaire, those factors are self-confidence; start up finance, lack of information, family support, finding the right contact, management skills, family and work life, and gender discrimination and last but not least others. Major factor creating problem for women was start-up finance which is 39 % followed by lack of management skills and lack of information as 12% and 10 % respectively it was amazing to note that family and work life balance was rated as second least problem i.e. 2% this shows that women don’t identify family and work life balance as challenge. (Refer figure: 2) Figure: 3 This question was created to know the awareness of the women regarding bank facility provided to women entrepreneurs. As the respondents are from different field and different segment of the society, hence qualification, experience, and environment vary for these entrepreneurs. There are women who are aware about bank providing loan for women,
  10. 10. awareness rate is 64%, thus can could that interest of respondent toward financial aid for their business is growing, they have become more enthusiastic to venture new source, they have become conscious about various schemes which they can opt for, interest rate that banks provides and compare rate provided by different banks. 36% women are not aware about bank providing loan for women entrepreneurs, these women are not much educated and they actually do not fall in the category of customers who can use facility provided by banks. (Refer figure: 3) Figure: 4 Even though women are aware about bank providing loan for women but they do not approach banks in fact they are not aware about the loan schemes, only 28 % women are aware about the scheme, this is not appreciating figure were only 28 % of female are aware about the scheme and this female are the one who are actually borrowing loan from banks hence they are aware about the schemes and rest 72% are not aware whether bank has what kind of schemes, and how can be these schemes prove beneficial for development of women owned business. (Refer figure: 4)Figure: 5 According to survey; there are five major reason that discourages women to approach bank for their business, these factors are (a) Not aware about the scheme, (b) Not eligible for bank loan (c) Huge fund not required (d) had enough fund for business (e) others. Majority of the women were not aware about the schemes (45%) while discussing about awareness of the
  11. 11. scheme they mention that they have not heard of about theses scheme, it can be concluded that banks are not doing advertisement of this schemes on high scale. Other reasons were that huge fund was not required (8%); women who opted for this option were generally occupying the small size business which does not call for huge funding. Next category were the women who had enough funds to finance their business(8%), these are the women from upper class of the society, or the female who were working initially and were ready with their saving to invest in their business. Women who are in category of others (8%) are either not in the favour of taking the loan from bank, or they are not comfortable with bank procedures. (Refer figure: 5) Data shows that among the various schemes available in the market the scheme which on top of mind of these women were scheme from canara bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Dena bank • Scheme from Canara bank i.e. Can Mahila scheme is one of the favourite scheme of these women entrepreneurs. • 6 out of 11 female opt for or are aware of Can Mahila scheme • Schemes from Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Dena bank are also well known. This may be due the high customer data base that these banks have has promoted themself well in the market, or that they have good customer service or either they have promoted their scheme through advertisements and promotional activities.Figure: 6 Data shows that 1/3 of the sample size have taken loan for their business, this is either start- up finance or loan for expansion which will help these women to do the business. To Start any business there is requirement of huge finance, sourcing of this huge finance is little difficult but not impossible. Hence maximum respondent (75%) opt for loan, this loan can be then from any sources either from moneylender, relative or bank. Where else (25%) female do not take loan for their business, they may have enough fund for their business or either they do not have that huge requirement of the fund. (Refer figure: 6)
  12. 12. Figure: 7 Data shows that people those who are taking loan, maximum of them approach banks for their loan i.e. 40% other than banks next second highest number goes to relatives and then moneylenders and then others. Research done by Myers, Jennifer, revels that 75% of women take the loan depending on the bases of their relationship with source, and our study shows that these women have major source from bank that is 40%, we can conclude that bonding between customer and bank is developed well. Next major category is relatives (24%), as the loan obtained from relative are generally unsecured loan and without any process let it be the formality of documentation, providing collateral or disbursement of loan. Next majority goes to Moneylender and others securing 4% each. Women of low income group take loan from moneylender, as they do have to keep some kind of collateral for this finance. (Refer figure: 7)Figure: 8 If we analysis the data carefully its states that 40 %of female take loan from bank, around 32% of women entrepreneurs take loan from other sources, in addition to this womens those who don’t take loan are 25%. 57% of women don’t take loan from bank reason for same are as follows (a) Poor service provided by bank (b) Interest rate (c) Time consuming process (documentation).(d) Bank not cooperating in the process. (e) Others. 24% Respondent say that process of getting loan is time consuming; this will delay the whole plan, and if process is not timely executed if will be redundant. Apart from this high interest
  13. 13. rate was rated second most important reason for respondents to not opt for bank loan, respondents say “difference in the interest rate is hardly 0.5% - 1.5 % which does not attract women’s towards bank loan”. Poor service of bank was third major reason poor service includes service provided by bank in normal terms, like account facility, transfer of cash or cheque.(Refer figure: 8)Figure: 9 According to the data available female prefer to take loan from Dena bank (48%) and the second preferred bank for the loan is Canara bank scheme called as can mahila (12%), still is far away from Dena bank difference is of 36% . similarly Punjab national bank and Bank of India stand 3rd and 4th respectively. Reason for Dena bank to be favourite one was mentioned the time duration taken by the bank to give the loan is less and process is also very customer or we can say women friendly.(Refer figure: 9) Period for loan: The maximum amount of loan sanctioned varies from bank to bank, maximum tenure provided by bank is generally 5 years. Bank can divided this loan inot three major category i.e. Short term, intermediate and long term loan. Figure: 10 Survey says that 75% of respondent take loan 40 % from bank and rest from the other sources i.e. relative, money lenders and others. These 75% respondent take loan to accomplish their goal, attain their vision. When there is requirement for start up finance they opt for long term loan as it used for establishing the business, to increase the fixed assets, for related business acquisitions and expansion taken for the long term. While many respondent also opt for short term and intermediate loan so that they can use it for short term working capital or to build inventory, buy equipment or increase working capital.(Refer Figure :10)
  14. 14. Figure: 11 Data reveals maximum women take loan once percent is quite high i.e. 56%, normally huge fund is required at time of starting up the business where every cost is to be evaluated and maintained, ones business has started den only maintain cost is liable, other cost like raw material, process cost, labour charges, logistics, etc. This cost can be later analysed and worked out. Hence, loan during start-up period is common. Where else loan taken twice or thrice are hardly 8% and 6% respectively, generally to acquire new project, or to maintain the old business. (Refer Figure No: 11)Figure: 12