Financial Inclusion

In Africa, Women Entrepreneurs Abound

Following the release of the Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE) today (Mar. 7), it was revealed that 34.8 percent of businesses in Uganda are owned by women entrepreneurs, making it one of the top-performing countries in Africa highlighted in the index.

In a press release, Mastercard said the MIWE is a weighted index that helps to better understand and identify factors and conditions that will work to close the gender gap among business owners in any given economy. The three factors include women’s advancement outcomes, access to knowledge and financial services, and supporting entrepreneurial factors, Mastercard said. For the 2016 Index, Mastercard examined 54 different economies around the globe, including Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda.

Mastercard said Uganda scored well in terms of advancement outcomes with the women entrepreneurial activity rate at 100 percent and the labor force participation rate at 93.9 percent. Mastercard said Uganda also did very well in sharing knowledge assets with women and providing financial access, with 90.5 percent borrowing or saving to open a business. That’s higher than the 52.4 percent average of other low- to lower-middle-income countries. Uganda also has a 95.8 percent gross women tertiary education enrollment rate, noted Mastercard.

“The result of this survey collaborates an economic reality in Africa that women continue to overcome formidable challenges to remain a cornerstone of trade and productivity on the continent,” said Daniel Monehin, division president for Sub-Saharan Africa and head of financial inclusion for international markets at Mastercard, in the press release.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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