The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has launched a country-wide move to attract women entrepreneurs towards Prime Minister Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) through a series of awareness seminars by holding the first seminar of this series today at SMEDA head office under aegis of its Women Entrepreneurs Development Cell. Chairman Senate’s Standing Committee on Industries and Production Senator Hiayatullah, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Mrs. Khalida Parveen, Senator Mst. Kalsoom Parveen, Ms. Shazia Suleman, President Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lahore Chapter and Mr. Sher Ayub, CEO SMEDA attended the seminar as Guests of Honor. Whereas, Raja Hassanien Javed, Provincial Chief SMEDA-Punjab gave a detailed presentation on PMYBL to the participants coming from various sectors of women based businesses.

The guest senators unanimously urged the women to become active part of the national economy by entering into different fields of the SME sector. They acknowledged that PMYBL was the best option for financial support of the female young entrepreneurs. They appreciated SMEDA for having direct interaction with women entrepreneurs about incentives offered under the scheme.

CEO SMEDA Mr. Sher Ayub, replying to a question regarding further easing of the scheme for women to increase number of female applicants, assured to take up the suggestion with the concerned quarter for consideration. However, he vowed to continue direct communication with women entrepreneurs on government support facilities for entrepreneurship development with a special focus on PMYBL.

Earlier, the presentation given by Provincial Chief SMEDA-Punjab Mr. Hassanien Javed revealed that PMYBL had a 50% quota for women aging between 21-45 years and 5% quota for “Shaheed”’s widows and disabled persons. He informed that so far only 14% applicants out of the total received applications belonged to women. He further informed that initially the mark-up on PMYBL was 8%, which has been reduced to 6%. The balance part of the mark-up as per the market rate would be paid by the government of Pakistan to the banks, he said adding that only one reference and one guarantor is required for the loan. Since the loan is purely a business credit, therefore, applicants would have to produce a viable business plan or a prefeasibility study, for which over 100 business feasibilities are available on SMEDA website both in English and Urdu for guidance of the applicants.

Ms. Shazia Suleman, President WCCI-Lahore appreciated SMEDA for opening an awareness move on PMYBL especially for women. She stressed to expand the awareness campaign also to the less developed areas of the country.

Later, Ms. Tania Buttar, Deputy General Manager and Head Women Entrepreneurship Development Cell delivered vote of thanks to the participants.

It is to remember that PMYBL Scheme offers business loan facility to young entrepreneurs up to Rs.2 million for 8 years with an equity participation of only 10% by the applicant.

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