3 4 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA DECEMBER 2019 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA DECEMBER 2019 O p e n i n g L i n e s D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 U.S., New Zealand, Canada and Israel are the best countries for women entrepreneurs W omen entrepreneurs continue to overcome challenges and are opening successful businesses faster than ever before. Mastercard recently revealed the third edition of its Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, celebrating the countries where women entrepreneurs are most likely to thrive, MASTERCARD INDEX: WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS ARE OPENING SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES FASTER THAN EVER BEFORE, BUT THEY STILL DON’T RECEIVE THE FUNDING, SUPPORT OR ATTENTION THEY MERIT while sounding the alarm that there are still significant inequalities that hold us all back. Based on publicly available data from international organizations including the International Labour Organization, UNESCO and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the global Index tracks the progress and achievement of women entrepreneurs and business owners across 58 markets (representing nearly 80% of the world’s female labor force) at three levels: (i) Women’s Advancement Outcomes, (ii) Knowledge Assets & Financial Access, and (iii) Supporting Women-owned and led businesses are strong catalysts for economic growth, improving the lives of everyone Entrepreneurial Factors. The results reaffirmed that women are able to make further business inroads and have higher labor force participation rates in open and vibrant markets where the support for SMEs and ease of doing business are high. They are also able to draw from enabling resources, including access to capital, financial services and academic programs. Out of the top 20 ranking markets, 80% are high income economies, fueled by highly supportive entrepreneurial conditions. This includes the United States, which topped the charts for the first time, and New Zealand, which trailed closely in second place. Top 10 markets for women entrepreneurs, based on supporting conditions and opportunities to thrive: 1. United States – 70.3 2. New Zealand – 70.2 3. Canada – 69.0 4. Israel – 68.4 5. Ireland – 67.7 6. Taiwan– 66.2 7. Switzerland -65.8 8. Singapore – 65.6 9. United Kingdom – 65.6 10. Poland – 65.1 Of the 58 markets, 8 markets moved up by more than 5 ranks compared to the previous year’s scores including France (+22 ranks) which was driven by a near-double increase in the women entrepreneurial activity rate, followed by Indonesia (+13), Costa Rica (+11), Taiwan (+9), Ireland (+7), Russian Federation (+6), Thailand (+5) and Ghana (+5). The Index also suggests that the opportunity for entrepreneurship is not necessarily aligned to the wealth and advancement of a market. Countries with less conducive supporting conditions such as Uganda, Ghana and Botswana rank in the top three countries for women business ownership rates, compared to more developed ones. Women in these markets are deemed as “necessity-driven” entrepreneurs, spurred by a need for survival despite their lack of financial capital and access to enabling services.