Cultural bias cripples Indian women entrepreneurs: Mastercard Index

Cultural bias cripples Indian women entrepreneurs: Mastercard Index
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Indian women business entrepreneurs, leaders and professionals exhibit less inclination towards business ownership due to a cultural bias, according to the second edition of Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs.

The index, which is released by global financial services company Mastercard Inc, captures female entrepreneurs’ ability to capitalise on opportunities granted through supporting conditions within their local environments.

India ranks 52nd (unchanged from the previous year) amongst 57 countries studied, significantly behind the US (4th) and China (29th). India is only ahead of Islamic republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt and Bangladesh, Mastercard said in a statement. 

The results suggest that the underlying conditions for women business entrepreneurship in India are less favourable compared to the countries with high index score.

According to the report, Indian women business owners are less likely to grow their business, whether locally or overseas, and are more prone than other regions to discontinue their businesses due to unprofitability or lack of finance.

“Markets like India, which are comparatively less wealthy and developed, tend to render less enabling conditions for women’s advancement as entrepreneurs. Learning from top-ranked countries in the Index such as the US and China, India needs to cultivate an environment where women have higher participation in the workforce and access to tertiary education and financial services,” said Manasi Narasimhan, vice president, marketing and communications, Mastercard.

Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs measures female entrepreneurs’ ability to capitalise on opportunities through three parameters: 1) women’s advancement outcomes (degree of bias against women as workforce participants, political and business leaders, as well as the financial strength and entrepreneurial inclination of women), 2) knowledge assets and financial assets (degree of access women have to basic financial services, advanced knowledge assets, and support for small and medium enterprises), and 3) supporting entrepreneurial conditions (overall perceptions on the ease on conducting business locally, quality of local governance, women’s perception of safety levels and cultural perception of women’s household financial influence).

The Index uses 12 indicators and 25 sub-indicators to look at how 57 economies across Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Latin America and Europe, representing 78.6% of the world’s female labour force.

Mastercard is a technology company in the global payments space. Its global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses. 

In July 2016, Mastercard invested in online payment gateway Razorpay.


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