Ladies entrepreneurs are the engine that drives the post-pandemic financial restoration in Latin America, in accordance with research

The 2020 edition of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) shows that clearing the way for female entrepreneurship contains the economic and cultural keys to resurgence.

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December 9, 2020 5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.

By Janet Rivera-Hernández, Vice President, Communications, Mastercard Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on 87% of women-run businesses worldwide.
  • 42% of women entrepreneurs have moved their business models to the online universe this year, while 37% are developing new businesses that cater to the needs of the place and the moment, and 34% have identified new business opportunities during the pandemic.

The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur tells the story of the hero who defeated the monster who lived in a maze and who managed to get out thanks to the guidance of a magical thread that Ariadna, his mistress, a symbol of woman, managed to get out who is not afraid and who dares to look for new ways. Similar to the role of women entrepreneurs today: in the greatest recession in history since World War II, female entrepreneurship shows the way to recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on 87% of women-run businesses worldwide. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the impact has been more felt in this segment, as women are dominant in the sectors hardest hit by the recession, but also because of the gender gaps in technological access and other historical inequalities like the domestic responsibilities that normally fall on them. According to the WTO, the effects of the crisis are being felt even more strongly in emerging economies, which, despite the lack of regulatory frameworks, inadequate infrastructure and the persistent gender gap in employment opportunities and technological access, are global leaders in the field of female entrepreneurship.

But like Ariadna, women entrepreneurs in Latin America are demonstrating their adaptability and resilience, inspired by a leadership model that anchors this pandemic. In the midst of the worst of the turmoil, the governments of New Zealand, Germany, Finland, Taiwan and Denmark, all led by women, have set an example of exemplary, inclusive, calm and confident management that not only drives economic recovery, but also building a better society.


The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) is an annual report that reveals the pros and cons of businesses run by women in 58 economies around the world. The results of the study provide valuable information for governments, businesses, and individuals to help them implement inclusive policies that impact production quickly and effectively. For this issue, Israel ranks best for its effective policies for women’s entrepreneurship, followed by the United States and Switzerland. In our region, Colombia is the best country to be an entrepreneur. It has a high level of movement driven by needs and a high representation of female business leaders, which is reflected in 57%. It is followed by Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador.

Earlier this year, Mastercard promised to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses to the digital economy by 2025. Part of that goal is to give 25 million women entrepreneurs the solutions they need to scale. run their businesses through cross-funding, mentoring and the development of inclusive technologies. In fact, many women are already looking for their own way: the study shows that 42% of women entrepreneurs relocated their business models to the online universe this year, while 37% are developing new businesses that respond to the needs of the place and the world currently identified 34% new business opportunities during the pandemic.

And there is still a lot to be done. The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs underscores the importance of public order, but confirms the need for concrete action to balance opportunities. The future is now established. This is the time for governments, institutions and organizations to take an active role in promoting gender equality, for example by taking measures that close the gap between work and household. Because in addition to working together to reconstruct the fabric of a troubled society, female companies make good profits and encourage greater diversity in their teams, which also leads to better results. In short, it is about getting out of the labyrinth of the recession economically with a flourishing model, but also socially (more) correctly.

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