New Delhi: Multilateral lending agency Asian
Development Bank and Japan will extend support, including
financial assistance, for initiatives to improve skills of
low-income women entrepreneurs in India.
"A grant of USD 3 million from the Government of
Japan-financed Japan Fund for poverty reduction, administered
by ADB, will be used to help women entrepreneurs," Asian
Development Bank (ADB) said in a statement on Wednesday.
The funds would be used to help women entrepreneurs in
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar
"The grant will be used to train up to 1,200 low-income
women entrepreneurs in financial literacy, business management
and other skills," the statement said.
Further, assistance would be given to Small Industries
Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and its partner micro
finance institutions to review and revise their gender
policies and practices.
According to the multilateral lending agency, the grant
is linked to the ADB-financed Micro, Small and Medium Sized
Enterprise Development Project.
"Additional funds of USD 108,000 from the Government of
India and USD 106,700 from beneficiary communities will be
provided for a total grant cost of USD 3.214 million," it
The grant would be disbursed over three years to 2012,
with the Finance Ministry and SIDBI as the executing and
implementing agencies, respectively.
"The target group will be women whose businesses have
outgrown traditional micro finance support, but who are unable
to access more conventional bank financing...," the statement
ADB said the project has many features, including the
establishment of a rating system for micro businesses.
"Helping micro finance institutions develop strategies to
mainstream gender issues and approaches in business
development will nurture women`s micro enterprises, resulting
in self-sufficiency which can stabilise poor families,"
Francesco Tornieri, a Social Development Specialist (Gender
and Development) at ADB`s South Asia Department, said.