Despite having a booming economy and a fast-growing startup ecosystem, India is a pretty bleak place for women entrepreneurs. In a recent study released under the name of Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard, India ranks 29th from a total of 31 countries. The only other countries lower than India are Pakistan and Bangladesh. USA, Australia, and Canada ranked among the top three.
The final ranking was based on a number of factors:
- Business Environment: State of regulations, monopolies, availability of capital, and R&D investments.
- Gender Access: Women’s access to fundamental resources including education, Internet, bank accounts and training programs.
- Leadership and Rights: Equal rights, acceptance as executives, and percentage of women in decision-making positions.
- Pipeline for Entrepreneurs: Women’s engagement in startups, percentage of females who know entrepreneurs, see business opportunities, and feel they have the skills to start a business.
- Potential Entrepreneur Leaders: Percentage of college-educated and growth-oriented women who start businesses.
Here’s how India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are ranked in the aforementioned categories:
According to the report, in the lowest ranked countries there are work restrictions on women limiting their access to startup capital and collateral critical for business startup and growth. In Pakistan, women have no access to proper resources, Bangladesh was declared to have a complex business environment with underdeveloped innovative capabilities and India was said to be least acceptive of women executives.
Over the past few years following the entrepreneurship boom in Pakistan, many women entrepreneurs have come forth. Some prominent names are Salma Jafri, Sheba Najmi, Ammara Farooq, Maria Umar and Sidra Qasim. According to these strong female executives, women are natural leaders and decision-makers and any woman who can tackle both a business and a family should be commended. However, women do face more challenges than men because they have to prove their worth to the world.
Currently, there are about 1500 organizations registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and almost 200 startups are entering the market through incubators and accelerator programs every year. There are currently 30 active incubators in Pakistan, but with the effort being put in promoting entrepreneurship in Pakistan this number is expected to rise.
Image Source: PKDiary