Financial services company, Mastercard, recently launched Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) to track the progress and achievement of women entrepreneurs and business owners across 58 societies around the world, says a press release.
The report defines an entrepreneur as a business owner who employs at least one person other than himself or herself and delves into publicly available data. The focus area represents 80 percent of the global women workforce.
To devise the rankings, markets are assigned scores based on multiple indicators like labour force participation, tertiary-level education enrolment, inclination to borrow or save money for business, support for SMEs and supporting entrepreneurial conditions such as ease of doing business, cultural norms and governance, etc.
The report reveals that gender inequalities related to wealth, entrepreneurship, society and culture are often expressed differently in each market.
Another factor involves the economic need to start a business against the personal capabilities and ambitions required to do so.
Women turn to entrepreneurship mostly due to their confidence in the outcome, but a developing nation like Vietnam, it appears, ranks 20th in efforts to overcome economic hurdles. Contrastively, Singapore, with the 8th best conditions in the world for women entrepreneurs, ranks only 24th.
Living with high socio-economic provisions, undoubtedly helps aspiring women entrepreneurs since, one-third of the Asian markets in the top 20 are wealth nations, including Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Although developing nations like, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam are among the top 20, high-income markets like South Korea (36th) and Japan (46th) are notably absent.
Social values constitute another condition for which favourable financial provisions may not yield high number of women entrepreneurs. Though, India is a prime market for business ownership, only seven out of every 100 owners are women.
The solutions provided include supportive financial resources, which can help women regardless of where they live to start a business and gain more independence. Trainings can also help better-paid women employees realise that business is a sustainable mean to ensure national and personal economic progress.