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India far behind US, China in parity for women entrepreneurs; Report

PTI     March 7, 2018

New Delhi, Mar 7 (PTI) India is ranked 52, much lower than the US and China, in the list of 57 countries surveyed to ascertain parity for women entrepreneurs as cultural bias, lack of access to financial services and poor social acceptance remained roadblocks here for them, says a report.

India is only ahead of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, and Bangladesh, out of the 57 countries surveyed, according to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) report.

The underlying conditions for women business ownership in India are less favourable, the report said, adding that the Indian women exhibit less inclination towards business ownership due to cultural bias.

"The index serves as an informative mouthpiece to inspire change at the economic, political and social levels, and empower women to run successful businesses and lead richer, more fulfilling lives," Mastercard Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Manasi Narasimhan, said.

Indias rank remained unchanged from previous year at 52, significantly behind the United States (4th) and China (29th), the report said.

Indian women are also less likely to grow their business or are more prone to discontinue their businesses due to unprofitability or lack of finance, it said.

"Learning from countries such the US and China, India needs to cultivate an environment where women have higher participation in the workforce and access to tertiary (post-secondary) education and financial services," Narasimhan said.

The obstacles are largely caused by perceptions of gender bias, which contribute to poor social and cultural acceptance, lack of self-belief and access to financial funding or venture capital, the report said.

India ranks 55th in terms of knowledge assets and financial access for women entrepreneurs, the report said, adding that India ranks 47th when it comes to supporting entrepreneurial conditions.

New Zealand retained its top ranking in terms of underlying entrepreneurial conditions.

With regard to enabling high women entrepreneurship, it said measures such as increasing women enrolment in tertiary education, and more access to financial services such business loans for women entrepreneurs would boost engagement.

Further, single window clearances to businesses, tax breaks, and other measures to promote ease of doing business in the country, would enable high women entrepreneurship.

The MIWE tracks female entrepreneurs ability to capitalise on opportunities granted through various supporting conditions within their local environments and is the weighted sum of three components -- womens advancement outcomes, knowledge assets and financial assets and supporting entrepreneurial conditions. PTI PRJ MKJ

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