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Mastercard survey shows increased digital technology adoption among female entrepreneurs

Writer: Joan Aimuengheuwa

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Mastercard MEA SME survey
female entrepreneurs - Source: Unsplash

It is no news that digitalisation is swiftly dominating the world and businesses are strongly leveraging this opportunity to thrive locally and internationally.

According to research done by Mastercard on small and medium businesses across the Middle East and Africa, female entrepreneurs are at the top of this leverage.

The Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index affirmed that 81% of female entrepreneurs across the region have built a digital presence for their businesses.

This is in contrast to the percentage of male entrepreneurs given to be 68.

The digital impression of these female entrepreneurs revealed that social media was at the fore, with a percentage of 71, and a company website, with a percentage of 57 followed.

It was concluded that in the Middle East and North Africa, female entrepreneurs are more focused on their company’s website (71%) than a social media presence (55%).

Going further, the survey revealed that the confidence levels around digital transactions are high. 30% of female entrepreneurs in the MEA do not encounter challenges in accepting more payments digitally compared to cash payments.

Mobile payments (62%), online payments (57%) and card payments (45%) are at the core of this.

The confidence level for Southern Africa was 67%, also having zero challenges in increasing digital payments.

Stating the vast benefits of a cash-free economy to their businesses, 60% was accorded to female entrepreneurs who agreed on the increased efficiency of transactions across multiple channels and 60% to those who agreed on the ease of not handling or processing cash.

Pointing out the advantages of digitalisation, 59% of female entrepreneurs acknowledged the convenience of paying suppliers and employees, 55% acknowledged faster access to revenues, 53% said there was less potential for fraud and 50% agreed that there was increased access to new business growth opportunities.

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The 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) released earlier this year revealed that, globally, Uganda, Botswana and Ghana were the top three leading economies with the most women business owners (WBO), taken from a total percentage of business owners in the 2020 MIWE.

This is gradually extending to other African countries and beyond.

Nigeria and Angola were mentioned to have a high percentage of entrepreneurs with high regard for risk-taking, innovativeness, individuality and creativity.

Despite funding issues, societal oppositions, gender gap, among other challenges, female entrepreneurs are not yielding or losing courage in the quest to contribute to the positive transformation of society.

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