According to Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE), Ghana has emerged as the country with the highest percentage (46.4%) of women business owners in the entire world.
This discovery came about as a result of MIWE’s widely-supported method of indexing that helps to comprehend and know the different factors and conditions that are most convenient for closing the gender gap among business owners in any given economy.
A total number of 57 different economies were indexed around the globe, with Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Uganda, with Ghana, Nigeria, and Malawi as new additions. Of all the above-listed countries, Ghana came out on top, with women owning 46.4 percent of businesses in the country, while Uganda came in third, with 33.8 percent of businesses women-owned.
In terms of advancement outcomes, Ghana also performed well, alongside Nigeria with overall scores at 62.4 percent and 59.1 percent respectively. Other African countries also performed well in women labor force participation – with Malawi at 100 percent, Ghana at 96.1 percent, and Ethiopia at 86.6 percent.
South Africa excelled in sharing knowledge assets with women and providing financial access, with a score of 84.3 percent – coming in sixth out of 57 countries. Botswana followed closely behind with a score of 73 percent, with South Africa and Botswana the highest scoring African countries in the Index overall with scores of 66.5 percent and 64.2 percent respectively.
When compared to other African markets surveyed by MIWE, Botswana leads the chart with the highest rate of Supporting Entrepreneurial Conditions, at 68.1 percent. Generally, Africa scored highly in terms of women Financial Inclusion with South Africa at 85.3 percent, Ghana scoring 84.6 percent, and 77.1 percent in Ethiopia.
“Botswana, South Africa, Ghana, and Uganda shine as examples of women’s determination to provide for themselves and their families and Africa excels at creating strong women entrepreneurs with the drive to succeed even in the face of financial, regulatory or technical constraints,” said Beatrice Cornacchia, head of marketing and communications for the Middle East and Africa at Mastercard.
An interesting outcome of the Index is that cultural perceptions of women entrepreneurs in Africa are predominantly positive. At 69.1 percent in Uganda and 67.2 percent in Nigeria, this is well above their Middle Eastern counterparts. According to the Index, some women’s inclination towards business ownership may be undermined by limited access to education, financial, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
These are by no means only African – or developing – countries’ challenges, however. Women entrepreneurs even in developed nations face cultural and gender biases that restrict them from opening or expanding their own businesses.