Botswana is counted among the top three countries that have the highest opportunities for women as business leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs and labour force participants to advance both economically and professionally at a score of 62.6.
The other two countries are Philippines and Thailand at 65.5 and 62.7 respectively, according to the 2017 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) report.
“The results are surprising. Out of the top 10 markets, the majority (six) are upper middle income economies such as Thailand, Botswana, Colombia and Brazil; while the rest are lower income (Philippines and Vietnam) and high income economies (Canada and New Zealand),” highlights the report.
In the game of business the report indicates that women are not afraid to get their hands dirty and for them it is a matter of necessity. The women in Botswana are no different; in fact they are reported to be at the forefront, a finding that had also been carried in the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).
But their knack to sustain the business in the long run is just as important as their ability to start a business. The relationship between starting a business and sustainable business ownership does not gel and such is the unfortunate outcome that Botswana is grappling with, as indicated in the entrepreneurship reports.
“Uganda, as one of the only two low income economies, surprises with the highest percentage of Women Business Owners (34.8 percent), followed by upper middle income Botswana at 34.6 percent (2nd), New Zealand at 33.3 percent (3rd), Russia at 32.6 percent (4th) and Australia at 32.4 percent (5th).
One of the most striking observations about the status and progress of Women Business Ownership is that it is not always correlated to the wealth and level of development of an economy,” cites the MIWE report.
The overall index score given to Botswana above 50 percent at 66.9 percent moves in the same direction as the share of women business owners out of all business owners.
“A high MIWE score generally implies better women’s entrepreneurial supporting conditions, higher knowledge assets & financial access and more women’s progress in the business, professional and political leadership, a higher Business Ownership as a percentage of total business owners suggests support that bolsters the participation of woman in the business world,” notes the report.
This finding is said to be especially pronounced in High Income and Upper Middle Income economies such as New Zealand (NZL), Australia (AUS), United States (USA), Singapore (SGP), Spain (ESP) and Botswana (BWA).
The 2016 GEM report also indicates a high level in the ability to start a business by working age population in Botswana pointing out that over half of them see opportunities, with less than one fifth of them feeling constrained by fear of failure, and close to three fourths or more believing they have the capabilities to start. It adds that women are nearly one third more likely to start businesses out of necessity than men, corroborating the finding by MIWE report.
What is the problem in Botswana is business discontinuance at the backdrop of high start-up. “When there is an imbalance, usually meaning low levels of established business ownership relative to TEA, there may be a recent surge in entrepreneurship that has not yet made its way to maturity. Conversely, there may be issues relating to a lack of sustainability, where started businesses have a low chance of survival.
Botswana has among the highest TEA (total early stage entrepreneurial activity) rates in the sample, but established business ownership is less than 15 percent of the TEA level,” reveals the report.