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Social media main enabler for growth among women-owned businesses, Mastercard report

Story Highlights
  • 95% of women SMEs in the region identify social media channels as the top tool to drive their business ventures
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 women currently rely on word-of-mouth to market their products and services
  • Findings revealed at the inaugural women business workshop hosted by Mastercard and Female Fusion at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Women’s Pavilion

95% of women SMEs in the region identify social media channels as the top tool to drive their business ventures. This is according to a new report released by Mastercard, who are the Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Female Fusion Network.

Mastercard unveiled the new research at the first in a series of workshops for the region’s female entrepreneurs at the world’s largest cultural gathering.  

Other than social media, the report also found out that women also identify with other channels such as their own e-commerce websites (72%) as well as messaging services such as Facebook and Whatsapp (50%).  

In addition, three out of four (72%) women-owned businesses said they rely on word of mouth to market their products and services. The workshop identified how SMEs can make the most of their online footprint, and better connect to their consumers in a digital economy.   

Speakers included Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships MEA, Mastercard, Sarah Beydoun, Founder and Creative Director of social impact fashion business Sarah’s Bag in Lebanon, Ioanna Angelidaki, co-founder of Instashop, and Maureen Hall, Founder and CEO of COÉGA Sunwear.  

“The findings from the study indicate a clear need for further education and empowerment. Mastercard has long pushed for the success and growth of women as we break gender barriers around the world. Digital tools and technologies are the greatest equalizer for businesses and as the shift towards e-commerce becomes increasingly permanent, we are committed to helping women businesses go digital and grow digital as they pursue their entrepreneurial passions,” said Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships MEA, Mastercard. 

The recent unveiling of the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index also revealed that in terms of a digital footprint of the region’s women entrepreneurs, social media (71%) leads the way followed by a company website (57%).  

“We are proud of the successful launch of our workshop series in partnership with Mastercard. As a growing community of ambitious women leaders, Female Fusion Network looks to support our members with access to platforms that offer simple yet effective takeaways for them to grow their business. We look forward to having more of these impactful sessions during Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Jennifer Blandos, Managing Partner, Female Fusion Network. 

Mastercard has made a global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025 as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. As part of its efforts, the technology leader recently launched  ‘The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey’ a first-of-its kind digital education platform that brings together a range of world-class academic and business resources to help small businesses learn and thrive.   

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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