Developed countries seem to offer better environment for women entrepreneurs to grow and thrive in the business, find the second edition of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE). When compared to their peers in emerging markets globally, women business owners in developed countries enjoy a greater pool of enabling resources and opportunities, including better access to capital, financial services, as well as academic programs.
Tracking the progress and achievement of women entrepreneurs and business owners around the world, the study findings indicate that they continue to progress despite gender-related cultural biases that might hinder them from advancing their businesses. In New Zealand, for example, the Index revealed that the society is less receptive towards female entrepreneurship. However, despite these circumstances, businesswomen in the country have risen above the challenge, even pulling their market to the top list of strongest markes.
Chief Financial Officer of Mastercard, Martina Hund-Mejean said, “Women entrepreneurs have made remarkable strides as business owners around the world, even as they work to achieve their full potential. We believe that by drawing attention to their efforts, we can further support and empower women in their drive to run successful businesses and lead richer, more fulfilling lives.”
MIWE top 10 markets with the strongest supporting conditions and opportunities for women to thrive as entrepreneurs are as follow (in percentage):
The Index also notes that the entrepreneurship opportunity is not necessarily aligned to the pace of a market’s economic development. This could be seen from emerging economies such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Vietnam which were found to have higher women business ownership rates, compared to more developed ones.
This trend could be attributed to the fact that women in these markets are more deemed as necessity-driven entrepreneurs, given that they are motivated by the need for survival despite their lack of financial capital and access to enabling services. In these markets, women are as likely as men to engage in entrepreneurship. Such enterprises are likely to be in the informal sector, are less-technologically intensive, small in scale and assume the form of self-employment.
Below is the list of top 10 markets of women business owners as a percentage against overall business owners: