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Commercial Banks Finance and Economic Empowerment in Women-Owned Micro and Small Enterprises in India- A Study on Engineering Sector of Howrah, West Bengal

Journal of Entrepreneurship & Management

Volume 5 Issue 2

Published: 2016
Author(s) Name: Manidipa Das Gupta, Radhagobinda Basak | Author(s) Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce, University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India
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Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) play a significant role in introducing high level of socio-economic empowerment to all levels of social beings with its huge contribution in production, export promotion, employment generation, and value addition. Besides, it is well capable in redressing off the concomitant hazards of our nation like unemployment, poverty etc. The beneficial effect of the very sector is increased sharply if it is being participated by the marginalized gender section of our society, women. Notwithstanding, the sector cannot protect itself from several down-gradation in its survival due to several controllable and/or uncontrollable causes amongst which the inadequate need-based finance is considered to be the most severe one (All India Fourth Census Report of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), 2006-2007). In this context, the Central Bank has declared many promotional financial policies for the neediest sector of economy which has been allowed to be practiced by all the financial institutions of which the Commercial Banks (CBs) are the most significant ones. But CBs sometimes are blamed for their unfriendly partial attitude towards the very sector for their sole emphasis on commercialization. The women-owned MSEs in this context sometimes suffer a lot for the gender-discriminative credit policy of the CBs. In India, amongst different states, West Bengal (WB) is taken as a significant contributor so far as the number of women-owned MSEs and their performances are concerned. WB here specially recognizes the engineering sector of Howrah, the former Birmingham of the East, for its special contribution in socio-economic development of it. Though men-dominated sector, women-owned units here are also found to perform prestigiously irrespective of different hindrances mainly originated from need-based financial lacuna. CBs here are also found to be responsible ones reflecting the nation-wide picture over there which ultimately puts a question on proper implementation of financial policies to serve the marginalized gender section of the society. The present paper, therefore, aims at identifying to what extent the financial assistance of Commercial Banks empowers economically the women-owned micro and small engineering enterprises of Howrah and recommending some suggestions for further improvement following descriptive research methodology and relevant statistical tools and techniques.

Keywords: Banks, Financial Inclusion, Economic Empowerment

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