The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday increased concessional financing limit for women entrepreneurs from Rs1.5 million to Rs5m in a step towards financial inclusion.
“To encourage women participation in the economy, the SBP has enhanced the financing limit under its Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs from Rs1.5m to Rs5m,” said the bank’s press release.
The decision was taken in light of feedback received from various stakeholders over insufficient financing limits for women entrepreneurs, it added.
It further said the decision is in line with the government’s policy to support and revive economic activities in the country and the SBP’s key objective to improve access to finance for priority segments including women entrepreneurs.
Initially in August 2017, the SBP had introduced Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs in under served areas to promote financial inclusion and access to finance for women entrepreneurs in the country.
Subsequently, the scope of scheme was enhanced to the entire country. Under this scheme, the SBP provides refinance to participating financial institutions at 0 per cent on their financing to women entrepreneurs at maximum end user rate of 5pc. Moreover, 60pc risk coverage is also available to participating institutions.
“The enhancement in financing limit under the scheme is expected to increase financial inclusion of women since more women entrepreneurs are likely to be attracted for setting up of new businesses or for expanding the scope of their existing businesses by availing concessional financing under the scheme,” said the SBP.