Cultural Bias, Lack of Access to Financial Services, and Limited Knowledge Key Roadblocks to Parity for Indian Women Entrepreneurs: Mastercard Index of Women EntrepreneursMarch 7, 2018 | New Delhi
India ranks 52nd in the index that lists 57 countries, only ahead of Islamic republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, and Bangladesh
Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, today released the second edition of Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE). The index focuses on female entrepreneurs’ ability to capitalize on opportunities granted through various supporting conditions within their local environments. India ranks 52nd (unchanged from the previous year) amongst 57 countries studied, significantly behind the United States (4th) and China (29th).
The results suggest that the underlying conditions for women business ownership/entrepreneurship in India are less favorable as compared to the countries with high index score. According to the report, the Indian women business owners, leaders or professionals exhibit less inclination towards business ownership due to cultural bias. They are also less likely to grow their business, whether locally or overseas, and are more prone than other regions to discontinue their businesses due to unprofitability or lack of finance.
Commenting on India’s position on the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, Manasi Narasimhan, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Mastercard, said, “Markets like India, which are comparatively less wealthy and developed tend to render less enabling conditions for women’s advancement as entrepreneurs. The Index serves as an informative mouthpiece to inspire change at the economic, political and social levels, and empower women to run successful businesses and lead richer, more fulfilling lives. Learning from top ranked countries in the Index such as the United States and China, India needs to cultivate an environment where women have higher participation in the workforce and access to tertiary (post-secondary) education & financial services.”
The progress of women entrepreneurs was held back by one or more obstacles in nearly all of the 57 economies covered. These obstacles are largely caused by perceptions of gender bias, which contribute to poor social and cultural acceptance, lack of self-belief and access to financial funding or venture capital. Below is India’s performance on three components used for developing the index –
- Women’s Advancement Outcomes
India ranks 52nd with respect to Women’s Advancement Outcomes, i.e., degree of bias against women as workforce participants, political and business leaders, as well as the financial strength and entrepreneurial inclination of women, far behind the United States 8th and China 27th
- Knowledge Assets and Financial Assets
India ranks 55th in terms of Knowledge Assets & Financial Access for women entrepreneurs. On the other hand, China (10th), and the United States of America (16th) provide much higher degree of access to basic financial services, advanced knowledge assets to women, and better support the small and medium enterprises
- Supporting Entrepreneurial Conditions
India ranks 47th when it comes to Supporting Entrepreneurial Conditions, not far behind China (41st). However, the United States (11th) scores significantly over the two when it comes to overall perceptions on the ease of conducting business locally, quality of local governance, women’s perception of safety levels and cultural perception of women’s household financial influence
How India can enable high women entrepreneurship:
- Increase women enrolment in tertiary (post-secondary) education
- Increase access to financial services such business loans for women entrepreneurs
- Single window clearances to businesses, tax breaks, and other measures to promote ease of doing business in the country
- New Zealand tops the overall index
- Ranked 18th in terms of Women Business Owners as % of Total Business Owners, Bangladesh presents a good example not just to India (48th) but also the United States (23rd) and China (33rd). This reflects that women in developing markets are deemed as necessity-driven entrepreneurs, spurred by a need for survival despite their lack of financial capital and access to enabling services
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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 57 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 the three components.
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard 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, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
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