Uganda has been placed on the top in the global ranking of countries with most women entrepreneurs according to the latest Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE).
The annual Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) which provides insights into the progress and achievements of women in business found that nearly 4 out of every 10 business owners in Uganda are women which is the highest in the world.
Sub-Saharan countries that made it to the Top 10 globally in terms of Women’s Business Ownership rates include Uganda (rank 1), Ghana (rank 2), Botswana (rank 3), Malawi (rank 7) and Angola (rank 9).
According to the report which assessed 58 countries globally, despite many challenges, female entrepreneurs are opening successful businesses faster than ever before.
The challenges of women business owners in sub-Saharan Africa include disparity in access to the internet and technology, barriers to accessing funding, restrictive cultural and social norms among others.
Despite being undermined by the prevalence of such persistent and widespread disparities and inequalities, women’s determination to start their own business in these Sub-saharan markets is nearly at the same level as men.
“More importantly, it brings to light how much more women can contribute economically and socially if such barriers are removed, or systems improved,” the report said.
While general business ownership rates, the index noted, tend to be driven by perceived good opportunities whereby individuals seek to improve their income or financial independence, the findings of the index showed that there are cases where businesses are not always initiated on opportunistic grounds.
In sub-Saharan markets including Uganda, women tend to start businesses out of necessity, especially in Ghana, Botswana, Russia, Malawi, Angola and Brazil where around 4 in 10 entrepreneurs are driven into business out of necessity.
However, the report indicates that women entrepreneurs still face a number of challenges which include inhibitive factors such as poor quality of governance, low women financial inclusion and poor support for SMEs.
Other challenges include less opportunities for women to rise in the workplace as business leaders and professionals/technicians due to generally lower prospects for tertiary education and higher barriers to business.