The 2021 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) has ranked Botswana (38.5%), Uganda (38.4%) and Ghana (37.2%) as the countries with the most women entrepreneurs globally.
The index also ranked Nigeria, Angola, Ghana in joint first place in women’s entrepreneurial activity rate. According to the Index report in both Nigeria and Angola, women’s entrepreneurial activity rate exceeded men’s even though women tend to be marginalized in terms of opportunities.
Nigeria also ranked second globally for the number of ‘women professional and technical workers’ (59.1%) while Angola ranked second globally in hiring intentions with 16.4% of adults planning to employ six or more people in the next five years.
Ebehijie Momoh, Country Manager and Area Business Head for West Africa at Mastercard, stated “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,”
Despite the fact that in most African countries government support for Small and Medium Enterprises is very low these women are breaking the odds, owning and growing businesses and are even becoming employers of Labor.
According to the report in ‘government SME support,’ Nigeria ranked 62 while Angola ranked 53 globally. In ‘general access to finance’ Nigeria ranked 61 while Angola ranked 63, very low rankings near and at the bottom of the list, with Ghana scoring slightly better on these metrics at 44 for ‘government SME support’ and 37 for ‘access to finance’ and 6th globally (69.7%) for ‘entrepreneurial attitudes and perceptions.
What does this mean?
The research indicates women entrepreneurs in Africa are resilient and adaptable.
It is commendable for African female entrepreneurs as the global ranking shows that they outperform men in high-income and developed economies such as Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia.
Also, as Mastercard has made a global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025, it would not only act as a catalyst for growth and innovation but also raise up the communities around successful women and fuel a global recovery that is more equitable and sustainable for everyone.