Singapore now has fewer women engaged in entrepreneurial activities than men: Mastercard report

There are fewer women engaged in entrepreneurial activities than men, but women in Singapore are fairly driven when it comes to looking for opportunities.

Singapore has been ranked 5th in a global ranking of top markets with the strongest supporting conditions and opportunities for women to thrive as entrepreneurs, according to the findings of Mastercard report.

The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2018, now in its second edition, tracks the ability of female entrepreneurs to capitalise on opportunities granted through various supporting conditions within their local environments.

The index is weight on three components including the degree of bias against women as workforce participants, political and business leaders, as well as the financial strength and entrepreneurial inclination of women.

It also looked at 12 indicators and 25 sub-indicators to look at how 57 markets around the world – representing 78.6% of the world’s female workforce – differ in terms of the level of three components.

The top 10 markets are:

  1. New Zealand – 74.2
  2. Sweden – 71.3
  3. Canada – 70.9
  4. United States – 70.8
  5. Singapore – 69.2
  6. Portugal – 69.1
  7. Australia – 68.9
  8. Belgium – 68.7
  9. Philippines – 68.0
  10. United Kingdom – 67.9

The report found that female entrepreneurs appear to thrive better in more developed countries compared to their peers in emerging markets, as they were able to draw from a greater pool of resources and opportunities.

This includes access to capital, financial services and academic programmes.

But it seems that developed countries are not immune to cultural bias against female entrepreneurship.

Findings suggest that women are perceived as inferior to men in both social and corporate settings, which has created significant roadblocks preventing female business owners from moving forward and realising their full potential.

The proof is in the figures.

The report’s Women Entrepreneurial Activity Rate – which measures the bias against women compared to men in early stage entreprenuerial activity – reflected a widening in gender divide.

The market with the widest gap was Japan (down 56% from 55 to 25), followed by Singapore (down 22% from 62 to 48) and Thailand (down 20% from 100 parity to 80).

This means that for every 10 male entrepreneurs in Singapore, there are less than five females engaged in entrepreneurial activities compared to six in 2017.

Mastercard Singapore country manager Deborah Heng said: “Women entrepreneurs in Singapore continue to make remarkable strides as business owners.

“It is encouraging to note that although there are fewer women engaged in entrepreneurial activities than men, women in Singapore are fairly driven when it comes to looking for opportunities to enhance and advance their financial situation.”

She attributes this to Singapore’s “highly effective and dynamic entrepreneurial landscape” which helps them thrive.