India is way behind the US and China when it comes to women entrepreneurs


  • India has been ranked 52th on Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs for the third consecutive year — way behind the US and China.
  • Gender bias, lack of funding are the major roadblocks to growth of women entrepreneurs across economies.
  • The Indian government recently launched a 59‐minute loan platform that allows for easy access to credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, the country seems to be showing a flat growth in the female participation in organisations and businesses. It has been ranked 52nd on Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs for the third consecutive year — way behind the US and China at 1st and 6th spot, respectively.

India’s score witnessed a decline in women's entrepreneurial activity rate, which stood at 58.6 points.

The index shows women are able to perform better in vibrant markets like — Singapore, Australia and others — where labour participation rate is comparatively higher. In India, female participation in the labour force is ata mere 15% in urban areas, as per a PTI report.

According to the Mastercard report, several factors hinder women entrepreneurs in developing economies — including gender bias, lack of financial funding.

“In India, Mastercard has been working along with government organizations, industry bodies, and NGOs to provide tools and networks that help women entrepreneurs become a part of the digital economy. Over the years, these programmes have brought a positive change to the lives of thousands of women entrepreneurs,” Vikas Varma, chief operating officer at Mastercard said.

Government push

India government has also been stepping up its efforts to improve Ease of Doing Business, inclusivity and promote startups. It recently launched a 59‐minute loan platform that allows for easy access to credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

The government also tied up with Mastercard and NGOs like Mann Deshi and Industree foundation to support women entrepreneurs by providing access to digital tools and networks

Globally, Mastercard introduced programmes like Start Path and Fintech Express to support startups. It has contributed to the growth of startups — Razorpay, Zeta and ToneTag.

See also:
India’s unemployment crisis is hurting women more than the men

A large section of women are vanishing from the workforce in India
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