Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs reveals top countries where female-owned businesses flourish http://news.mstr.cd/2luI9Vp

New Zealand, 7 March 2017 – Ahead of International Women’s Day, the inaugural Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs has revealed New Zealand has the best conditions in the world for women entrepreneurs to thrive.

The Index, which measured 54 economies representing 78.6 percent of the world’s female labour force, ranked New Zealand in first place with an overall score of 74.4, followed by Canada (72.4), United States (69.9), Sweden (69.6) and Singapore (69.5).  The Index looked at a number of measures to determine the level of women’s advancement outcomes, knowledge and financial access, and supporting entrepreneurial factors.

The research found New Zealand women are making solid progress as business leaders and professionals, underpinned by the degree of access to benefits and opportunities such as SME training and development programmes, and outreach initiatives for women targeted at financial literacy and risk management.

“While there is still work to do, it is encouraging to see New Zealand’s supporting conditions for women in entrepreneurship are the highest in the world,” says Peter Chisnall, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

“It is clear that the solid economic stability of New Zealand, access to financial services, robust small and mid-sized business communities and ease of doing business helps provide opportunities for businesses owned by women.”

The leading markets of New Zealand, Canada, United States, Sweden, Singapore, Belgium and Australia show women thrive when in an environment where there are more opportunity driven educational, occupational, entrepreneurial, cultural and financial conditions.

In nearly all 54 economies evaluated, there is at least one barrier holding back the growth of women business ownership. In New Zealand, the most significant barrier for women entrepreneurs is fear of failure, at 22%. This was followed by the SME employee turnover rate (16%).

The supportive conditions in New Zealand help Kiwis overcome the two most common obstacles that discourage most women from becoming entrepreneurs – cultural biases and fewer opportunities for advancement.

Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs – Top 10 markets with the strongest supporting conditions and opportunities for women to thrive as entrepreneurs

  1. New Zealand – 74.4
  2. Canada – 72.4
  3. United States – 69.9
  4. Sweden – 69.6
  5. Singapore – 69.5
  6. Belgium – 69.0
  7. Australia – 68.5
  8. Philippines – 68.4
  9. United Kingdom – 67.9
  10. Thailand – 67.5

Although New Zealand took top spot on the Index, Uganda (34.8 percent) and Botswana (34.6 percent) have the largest number of women business owners as a percentage of total business owners, driven mostly by necessity rather than business opportunities.

Women business owners as a % of all business owners – Top 10 markets

  1. Uganda – 34.8 percent
  2. Botswana – 34.6 percent
  3. New Zealand – 33.3 percent
  4. Russia – 32.6 percent
  5. Australia – 32.4 percent
  6. Bangladesh – 31.6 percent
  7. Vietnam – 31.4 percent
  8. China – 30.9 percent
  9. Spain – 30.8 percent
  10. United States – 30.7 percent

“The prevalence of ambitious, resourceful women should be regarded as a prime business opportunity. As society addresses existing cultural bias, we will do our part to help create those conditions that will strengthen and fuel the foundation for personal and economic growth,” said Martina Hund-Mejean, Chief Financial Officer, Mastercard.

“By increasing access to critical networks, our study shows that women are more able to recognise their full potential, achieve their goals and ultimately accelerate more inclusive growth. We have a fantastic opportunity to address cultural and organisational issues and further empower women leaders,” said Ann Cairns, President, International Markets, Mastercard.

Methodology 

The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs tracks female entrepreneurs’ ability to capitalise 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 labour force, differ in terms of the level of Women’s Advancement Outcomes, Knowledge Assets & Financial Access, and Supporting Entrepreneurial Factors.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.Mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media contact

Amy Wallis
Acumen Republic, for Mastercard

awallis@acumenrepublic.com
+64 9 354 0584
+64 27 2958 332