Israel emerges as the best country for 2020 for women entrepreneurs – See in which countries the conditions are quite difficult
Israel leaves behind countries such as the United States and Switzerland and is described as the best place in the world for women entrepreneurs, according to a report published and presented by CNBC.
The Middle East nation climbed three places this year, “stealing” the lead from last year’s winner New Zealand, with Covid-19 causing turmoil in the annual Mastercard index of women entrepreneurs (MIWE).
For the first time in the top ten are countries like Poland, Sweden and Spain, thus creating a list of several different geographical countries. The United Kingdom, Canada and Australia top the top 10 countries, as high-income economies did better for women entrepreneurs during the pandemic.
Today, MIWE examines the working environments of 58 economies – representing almost 80% of the female workforce worldwide – to examine whether and to what extent these countries encourage and promote women entrepreneurship.
With data from the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this study assesses economies across all indicators, including access to education and finance, as well as other supporting factors.
The top ten
Israel topped the list this year thanks to its significant support for small and medium-sized enterprises – climbing 41 places in this category alone.
The main concern of the country is to double the number of women entrepreneurs within two years.
The US retained second place in the ranking due to the high percentage of female business owners as well as the favorable cultural perceptions prevailing in America. They also ranked highest in the world for women’s entrepreneurship in a separate Female Opportunity Index for 2020/21 released last week by Mobile Bank N26.
Switzerland moved up eight places to third place in the rankings, boosted by a sharp improvement in government support for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as an upward trend in cultural perceptions around entrepreneurship.
The winning country for 2019, New Zealand fell to fourth place, but still ranks high in categories such as “prominent women leaders”.
Countries where conditions are difficult enough for women entrepreneurs are Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Iran, Egypt, Algeria and Bangladesh – a list that has changed slightly since last year.
Covid in the spotlight
This year’s report contrasts with what is happening during the pandemic – a period that experts say has disproportionately affected women.
More than 2/5 (42%) of women business owners moved to an online business model during the pandemic and over 1/3, about 37%, created a new business sector that meets new local or global needs. Also, 1/3 (34%) claim that they identified new business opportunities during the pandemic.
The pandemic has led women entrepreneurs to seek new ways of working, including taking advantage of new business opportunities and aligning existing models, according to the report.
At the same time, however, the report stressed the need to create a more open environment for women entrepreneurs, with the global economy wanting to return to its pre-coronary pace.
“The long-awaited call for governments, institutions, and organisations to close the gender gap has never been more urgent,” according to CNBC.
In the midst of this recession, which has been described as the worst global recession since World War II, the need to reduce this gender inequality is even more crucial to promoting a fair economic recovery.