The SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Trade have jointly launched the ‘Fashaa Madhadhu Loan’ and ‘Fashaa Madhadhu Leasing’ schemes on Thursday in a bid to provide financial assistance specifically for women entrepreneurs — Fashaa Madhadhu translates to ‘seed aid.’

The schemes, with a total funding of MVR 100 million, are part of President Mohamed Muizzu’s Week 14 roadmap.

SDFC noted during the launch that strength in society comes from both genders having equal footing in socioeconomic endeavours.

The schemes will provide finance to women entrepreneurs who otherwise face difficulties in accessing financial services from conventional banks.

Under the Fashaa Madhadhu loan scheme, start-ups will be given loans ranging from MVR 100,000 to MVR 500,000 at six percent interest, with a repayment period of seven years.

The Fashaa Madhadhu leasing scheme aims to provide easy access to self-employed, freelance and home-based women to purchase necessary hardware to develop their businesses. The scheme will make funds, ranging between MVR 10,000 to MVR 100,000, available to those who qualify at eight percent interest.

The financing available to an individual under the leasing scheme will be determined based on the income guaranteed via the individual’s bank statements.

The opportunity to apply for loans open on 3 March. Leasing is also expected to open in March although a specific date has not yet been disclosed.