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Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE)

March 9, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women and a day to highlight the importance of reaching gender parity, is fast approaching. While female entrepreneurship is often founded on necessity and grit, strong supporting conditions such as access to financial services and ease of doing business pave the way for progress in businesses owned by women, according to findings from the inaugural Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE).

Highlights of the study include:

  • Hong Kong (82.2) is found to be among one of the top three markets with the most enabling conditions for women business ownership/entrepreneurship, lagging only Singapore (83.3) and New Zealand (82.6).
  • Overall, developed markets top the index, led by New Zealand (74.4), Canada (72.4) and the United States (69.9). These countries have the strongest conditions that support women business ownership, such as robust small- and mid-sized business communities, a high quality of governance and ease of doing business.
  • For Greater China, Hong Kong scored 65.1 overall, beating Taiwan (63.2) and mainland China (61.3).
  • Cultural biases and few opportunities for advancement are found to be the two main obstacles that most discourage women from becoming entrepreneurs. Other obstacles include lack of financial funding/venture capital, regulatory restrictions and institutional inefficiencies, lack of self-belief and entrepreneurial drive, fear of failure, socio-cultural restrictions, and lack of training and education.
  • The results reveal that the most conducive and favorable entrepreneurial conditions exist in high income economies, and the most restrictive in less wealthy economies.
  • The index found that women’s progress as business owners and entrepreneurs in mainland China is nearly at par with leading high-income nations such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore despite having weaker supporting entrepreneurial conditions, knowledge assets and financial access.
  • Many of the mainland’s success stories of women entrepreneurs attribute hard work and sheer drive as the key ingredients to success.
  • The Index suggests that countries with enabling conditions foster more Opportunity-Driven Entrepreneurs (driven by desire to progress) while countries with less conducive supporting conditions tend to breed more Necessity-Driven Entrepreneurs (driven by need to survive).

The full report is available here: http://news.mstr.cd/2lMU6Bq

The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs tracks female entrepreneurs’ ability to capitalize on opportunities granted through various supporting conditions within their local environments and is the weighted sum of three components: 1) Women’s Advancement Outcomes (degree of bias against women as workforce participants, political and business leaders, as well as the financial strength and entrepreneurial inclination of women), 2) Knowledge Assets and Financial Assets (degree of access women have to basic financial services, advanced knowledge assets, and support for small and medium enterprises), and 3) Supporting Entrepreneurial Conditions (overall perceptions on the ease on conducting business locally, quality of local governance, women’s perception of safety levels and cultural perception of women’s household financial influence).

The index uses 12 indicators and 25 sub-indicators to look at how 54 economies across Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Latin America and Europe, representing 78.6 percent of the world’s female labor force, differ in terms of the level of Women’s Advancement Outcomes, Knowledge Assets & Financial Access, and Supporting Entrepreneurial Factors.

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