Women in Entrepreneurship on the Lead in Digital Presence – Mastercard

A recent research by Mastercard has shown that women entrepreneurs are on the lead when it comes to the increased presence of businesses in the digital space.

Mastercard’s MEA (Middle & East Africa) SME Confidence Index shows that 81% of women entrepreneurs in the region have a digital presence for their businesses. On the other hand, only 68% of male entrepreneurs have a digital presence for their businesses. 

How women are taking the lead 

Despite the gender gap and social hurdles, entrepreneurial women around the world, particularly in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), are leading the way in harnessing the digital economy’s power to prosper and flourish.

When it comes to the digital footprint of women entrepreneurs in the region, social media takes the lead at 71% followed by e-commerce (business website) at 57%. 

Mastercard’s commitment to link 25 Million Women Entrepreneurs to the Digital Economy 

This research is aligned to Mastercard’s global commitment to link 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025. This is as part of its ambition to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. 

Amnah Ajmal, Mastercard’s Executive Vice President of Market Development for the Middle East and Africa, said the Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index revealed that, compared to their male counterparts, over 80% of women entrepreneurs have digital presence for their businesses, but only a small percentage have access to funding for business growth.

Women-owned enterprises are well-represented in the entrepreneurship field globally, although they are expected to receive only 2-10% of commercial bank financing.

“This reflects the huge potential SME women entrepreneurs have when we accelerate their access to financial and digital tools which will enable greater gender parity in the business ecosystem.” Ajmal. 

Developing confidence in digital as a business imperative is linked to a better understanding and recognition of the benefits that come with a growing digital economy among SMEs.

Cashless economy driving Digital Economy 

The research also shows that women-owned small and medium businesses (SMEs) believe that a cashless economy will help their businesses greatly. 

When asked what the major advantages of a cashless economy are for their businesses, women entrepreneurs cited better transaction efficiency across numerous channels and the convenience of not having to handle or process currency. 

Evidence of how women business owners have reacted to a new world of work with renewed confidence and adaptability has already emerged in the 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE). They are tapping into new business opportunities or realigning their business models to cater to new consumer behavior and local or global needs.

Growing the contribution of women entrepreneurs

Growing the contribution of women entrepreneurs is a positive indicator, as nearly half of female entrepreneurs (48.7%) around the world say they are motivated by a desire to contribute to the greater good.

Mastercard is advancing social progress by providing financial literacy training to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship among women. In addition to providing digital payments acceptance tools to women-led businesses around the world, Mastercard is also advancing social progress by providing financial literacy training to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship among women.