New Zealand has been named the best country for supporting female entrepreneurship, according to MasterCard’s inaugural Index of Women Entrepreneurs.
The study, which analysed 54 global economies that account for 78.6 percent of the world’s female workforce, found that while core tenets of female entrepreneurship are necessity and grit, having the right supporting structure is just as crucial.
This includes ease of doing business, access to financial services and a lack of cultural biases, among others, MasterCard said.
In calculating its index, the payment brand found, somewhat unsurprisingly, that developed economies led the way. New Zealand, Canada and the US are the top three, but in an encouraging sign for Asia-Pacific, Singapore (5), Australia (7), the Philippines (8) and Thailand (10) all featured in the top 10.
MasterCard found these countries had strong conditions supporting women owning businesses: robust SME communities, high-quality governance and ease of doing business.
Countries towards the lower end of the index include China (31) and India (49), where cultural biases against women severely hamper entrepreneurial opportunities.
In the less developed economies, the study found a higher number of women business owners as a percentage of all business owners, but driven more by necessity and a desire to succeed than opportunity or innovation.
Uganda topped the list at 34.8 percent, with New Zealand (33.3), Bangladesh (31.6), Vietnam (31.4) and China (30.9) also at the higher end.
“By increasing access to critical networks, our study shows that women are more able to recognize their full potential, achieve their goals and ultimately accelerate more inclusive growth. said Ann Cairns, President, International Markets, Mastercard. "We have a fantastic opportunity to address cultural and organisational issues and further empower women leaders.”
Campaign Asia-Pacific celebrates International Women’s Day and the call to #BeBoldForChange. In an effort to ignite change and drive gender equality within the industry, on 22 March we are delighted to present Campaign360, an invitation-only, one-day event gathering key decision-makers of leading brands and agencies who believe in the importance of equal opportunity and women leadership.
Following the event programme, the Women Leading Change Awards will celebrate the contributions of female talent to the across the industry. Interested in joining? There are still a few VIP places available for senior brand marketers – apply here.