India, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, is one of the laggards when it comes to female participation in organisations and businesses. The country has been ranked a lowly 52nd on the Mastercard Index for Women Entrepreneurs for the third consecutive year, according to a report in Business Insider.
India’s ranking is way behind those of rival economies China, which is ranked 6th, and the US, which tops the list. What’s worse, India’s ranking witnessed a decline in terms of the rate of women entrepreneurial activity, which stood at 58.6 points.
The index points out that women perform better in markets like Singapore, Australia and others where the labour participation rate is comparatively higher. In India, the participation rate of women in the labour force is only 15% in urban areas.
The report identifies gender bias, paucity of funding and several other factors as obstacles in the path of women entrepreneurs in developing economies.
Mastercard has been working with government organisations, NGOs and industry bodies to provide tools and networks to support women entrepreneurs and help them to become part of the digital economy, pointed out Vikas Verma, Chief Operating Officer at Mastercard. Government of India has tied up with Mastercard and NGOs like Mann Deshi and Industree Foundation to support women entrepreneurs.
Mastercard is known to have introduced programmes like Start Path and Fintech Express to support start-ups at the global level. It has also contributed to the growth of start-ups like Razorpay, Zeta and ToneTag.