COVID crisis could set-back a generation of women in business, Mastercard Index finds

Monday 23 November 2020 10:40 CET | News

A staggering 87% of women business owners say they have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mastercard Index.

The digital gender gap in an increasingly virtual world and the mounting pressures of childcare responsibilities are a few factors that have left women particularly vulnerable. In tackling this disparity and unlocking the fullest potential of women in business, the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2020 report findings make a compelling case for building on targeted gender-specific policy best practices internationally. The MIWE 2020 includes a global ranking on the advancement of women in business in pre-pandemic conditions across 58 economies, representing almost 80% of the female labour force.

Israel tops the MIWE’s charts as best economy for women entrepreneurs worldwide, advancing from 4th place in 2019. With an ambition to double the number of female entrepreneurs within two years, Israel’s success has been driven by a focussed institutional backing for SMEs – its ‘Support for SMEs’ ranking catapulted from 42nd place in 2019, to 1st in 2020.

Similarly, Switzerland has advanced from 11th position in 2019, to 3rd overall in 2020, spurred on by sharp improvement in government-led support for SMEs (up 37% from 2019) and a resulting uptick in cultural perceptions of entrepreneurialism (up 45% from 2019).

MIWE 2020 also provides initial analysis on the ramifications of Covid-19 on women at work. The report presents an optimistic outlook for the future of women entrepreneurs. The COVID-19 era has highlighted women’s ability to lead under extraordinary circumstances. With almost half (47.8%) of female entrepreneurs’ report being driven by a desire to contribute to the greater societal good, the impact these leaders have cannot be underestimated.

On the frontline, women business owners are adapting to the new world of work with renewed confidence. 42% have shifted to a digital business model and 34% have identified new business opportunities since the pandemic.

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Keywords: MasterCard, financial inclusion, gender gap, SMEs, Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, MIWE, entrepreneur, digitalisation
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce