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New Zealand provides best support and opportunities for female entrepreneurs

Adrian M. Reodique | March 8, 2017
Mastercard’s Index of Women Entrepreneurs also reveals the factors that motivate businesswomen

New Zealand provides the best supporting conditions and opportunities for women entrepreneurs to help them thrive, according to the findings of Mastercard's Index of Women Entrepreneurs. These supporting conditions include access to financial services and ease of doing business.

The index indicated that, while grit and necessity are the common foundation of female entrepreneurship, strong supporting conditions still play a vital role.

The top 10 countries that provide strong support and opportunities to businesswomen are:

  1. New Zealand
  2. Canada
  3. United States
  4. Sweden 
  5. Singapore
  6. Belgium
  7. Australia
  8. Philippines
  9. United Kingdom 
  10. Thailand  

In essence, the index noted that these enabling conditions help women overcome the challenges that hinder them from becoming entrepreneurs such as cultural biases and fewer opportunities.

"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 for International Markets of Mastercard, in a press release.

What drives businesswomen?

The index suggests that female entrepreneurs in countries that provide strong supporting conditions are more driven by the desire to progress, while businesswomen in countries with less conducive supporting conditions are more driven by the need to survive.

However, female entrepreneurs in some countries where supporting conditions are not as conducive - like the Philippines, Peru, Malaysia, China, and Mexico - are often driven by the desire to succeed. Local entrepreneurship in these countries is highly energised with healthy perception of business opportunities, as well as high regard for the status of successful entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, the report found lower-income economies - such as Uganda (34.8 percent), Bangladesh (31.6 percent), and Vietnam (31.4 percent) - to have the high percentages of women entrepreneurs who are driven to do businesses because it is needed. 


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