SINGAPORE - Singapore took fifth place in a ranking of Asia Pacific countries with the most favourable conditions for women entrepreneurship by Mastercard.
In its ranking of 16 Asia Pacific nations, Singapore was beaten by top-placed New Zealand, followed by Australia, Thailand and the Philippines in fourth place.
At the other end of spectrum, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, had the lowest overall scores in fostering female entrepreneurship.
Not surprisingly, Mastercard's inaugural Women's Entrepreneurial Index showed that developed economies in Asia Pacific provide better supporting conditions for their women entrepreneurs to prosper compared to emerging markets.
Developed countries also tended to nurture more "opportunity entrepreneurs" who are driven by the desire to progress. This contrasts with emerging countries which tended to breed more "necessity entrepreneurs" who were driven by the need to survive.
The study also found that in developed markets such as Singapore, the strong push factors are enabling conditions such as the opportunity to attain advanced knowledge and access to mainstream financial services.
On the other hand, in Thailand and the Philippines which are ranked 3rd and 4th respectively, women's progress as entrepreneurs is driven by higher levels of women's advancement and entrepreneurship factors such as business leadership and politician representation as opposed to enabling conditions.
Said Deborah Heng, Mastercard Singapore's country manager: "The current position of women entrepreneurship in Singapore has been greatly bolstered by accessibility to quality education, career development and financial independence. Women in Singapore are increasingly playing a more active role in the local economy by exhibiting healthy participation in the workforce and taking on more leadership roles.
"Given these encouraging factors, female entrepreneurs in Singapore are well-positioned to rise above the challenges through a robust network, strong social infrastructure, as well as easy access to capital in order to pursue their personal goal to become a successful entrepreneur."