The business environment worldwide is designed in such a way that it excludes the majority of women from reaching the commanding heights of the economy. However, in the last two decades, many economies have restructured to allow women to reach their full potential.
Some of these economies are located in Africa and indeed, the top three economies with a high number of women entrepreneurs are located in Africa, specifically, Botswana, Uganda and Ghana. This was contained in the 2021 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE).
The report said Botswana (38.5%), Uganda (38.4%) and Ghana (37.2%) have the highest concentration of women business owners globally. This is the third consecutive year the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs has ranked these three countries as having the most business owners globally.
The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs highlights the significant socio-economic contribution of women entrepreneurs around the world, including Africa, and provides insights on the factors driving and inhibiting their advancement.
The report uses 12 indicators and 27 sub-indicators to create three “Components”: women’s advancement outcomes; knowledge assets and financial access; entrepreneurial supporting conditions.
“These allow us to track factors and conditions that support and drive the female share of business owners in an economy across 65 economies, representing about 82% of the world’s female labor force,” the report noted.
Botswana ranked in the top 15 economies worldwide in terms of advancement outcomes for women, particularly as far as performance by income is concerned, out-performing high-income and developed economies such as Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia. Botswana also scores highly in MIWE 2021’s ‘women’s labor force participation rates, ranking 13th globally.
The report also noted that Nigeria, in addition to Angola and Ghana, ranked first worldwide in the Women’s Entrepreneurship Activity Rate in MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2021. Also, Nigeria ranked second globally in the number of “women professional and technical workers” at 59.1 percent.
Angola, on the other hand, ranked second globally in hiring intentions with 16.4 percent of adults planning to employ six or more people in the next.
The report concludes that despite the pandemic affecting small business owners, African female business owners showed resilience and adapted accordingly.
Ebehijie Momoh, Country Manager and Area Business Head for West Africa at MasterCard, praised African economies for their entrepreneurial activities. According to him, women in Botswana, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and Angola stand out as excellent examples of women’s determination to provide for themselves and their families, despite facing financial, regulatory and technical challenges.
“In these economies, women are able to leverage on opportunities in their respective environments to be business owners, leaders and professional or technical workers,” he added.