Across Asia, women are re-examining society's problems through a business lens, playing a more leading role than women in other regions in harnessing the power of markets to tackle poverty and social ills, according to the first experts' poll on the best countries for social entrepreneurs.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of the world's 45 biggest economies found the Philippines was the country where women fared best when taking into account representation in leadership roles in social enterprises and the gender pay gap.

In fact five other spots among the top 10 ranking in the poll of nearly 900 experts in social enterprise were in Asia — Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand.