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November 23, 2020 12:08 pm

Mastercard Ranks Israel as Best Country for Women Entrepreneurs

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A woman wearing a mask looks on at a terminal at Ben-Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Feb. 27, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen / File.

Israel is the best country for women entrepreneurs, according to a new ranking.

The Jewish state was ranked first in the 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), a rise from fourth place the previous year.

The US came in second this year, followed by Switzerland, New Zealand, Poland, the UK, Canada, Sweden, Australia and Spain.

Israel’s first-place ranking was “largely driven by a focused institutional support” for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to the MIWE report.

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The report noted, “With an ambition to double the number of female entrepreneurs within 2 years, Israel has rolled out targeted initiatives focused on funding and advancing networking opportunities. This has seen its Support for SMEs ranking jump from 42nd place in 2019, to 1st just 1 year later.”

It also pointed out that data showed Israeli women “to be slightly more driven than men, by 2.3 percent on average, to pursue business opportunities to improve independence, economic self-reliance as well as to generate income.”

The MIWE report draws on data sources from a number of academic institutions, including ILO, GEM, World Bank, UNESCO, World Economic Forum, InterParliamentary Union and the OECD. It examines the working environments of 58 economies, representing almost 80 percent of the world’s female labor force, and ranks each economy according to its performance over the past year.

The index’s methodology involves an analysis across 12 indicators and 25 sub-indicators, including Advancement Outcomes, Knowledge Assets and Financial Access and Supporting Entrepreneurial Conditions.

The report also analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on female entrepreneurs.

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