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The rise of women in entrepreneurship is not necessarily associated with the pace of their country’s wealth and economic development as this latest Index on women’s entrepreneurship has shown. The second edition of Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE) revealed that some of the least wealthy and developed economies have higher women business ownership rates than their wealthier developed peers.

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Ghana came out on top, with 46.4 percent of businesses in the country owned by women. Uganda came in third, with 33.8 percent of its businesses being owned by women, according to the Index released this month. The MIWE is a weighted index that helps to better understand and identify factors and conditions that are most conducive to closing the gender gap among business owners in any given economy. The factors include Women’s Advancement Outcomes, Access to Knowledge and Financial Services, and Supporting Entrepreneurial Factors.

The Index examined 57 different economies around the globe, including Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda. Ghana, Nigeria and Malawi were the new additions. Ghana scored well in terms of advancement outcomes, as well as Nigeria. Overall scores in this regard were 62.4 percent (Nigeria) and 59.1 percent (Ghana). According to the Index, African countries also scored highly in women labour force participation, with Malawi at 100 percent, Ghana at 96.1 percent, and Ethiopia at 86.6 percent.

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