The World's Best Cities for Female Entrepreneurs

Cities are improving their ability to attract female entrepreneurs—but there’s still a long way to go.

by Meera Navlakha
17 July 2019, 8:52am

Image via Pixabay.

There are 163 million female entrepreneurs across the globe. While the number continues to rise, there is an unfortunate gap in prospects and funding city-by-city. It is this gap which makes the life of a female entrepreneur vary so greatly, depending on where she chooses to build her ambitions.

Dell Technologies’ 2019 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index, released during their annual Women Entrepreneur Network Summit in Singapore, reveals that while all 50 cities it surveyed are making strides, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to providing women with the best circumstances for building their businesses.

The index, which was created in 2016 in collaboration with global research firm IHS Markit, took five characteristics into consideration: access to capital, technology, talent, culture, and markets.

“When we invest in women, we invest in the future,” Karen Quintos, Dell’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, told CNBC. “Economies thrive and the next generation leads with purpose.”

North America seems to be leading the race with seven U.S cities making it to the index's top ten. The top three cities for female entrepreneurs? San Francisco’s Bay Area, New York City, and London. The Bay Area, while winning the top spot, scored 63.7 percent out of 100.

Factors such as lack of funding, high cost of living, low representation of women in leadership positions, and lack of government policies which support these women collectively stand in the way of cities obtaining higher scores.

That being said, all 50 cities have improved their hiring of women, specifically in Smart City projects and within the IT industry.

While none of the following regions had cities in the top ten, Asia Pacific broadened its talent pool of women, the Middle East proved its technological capabilities, and Latin America demonstrated its ability to strengthen and operate fair markets.

In the Asia Pacific, Australia has notably overtaken Singapore, which had previously trumped the former. Sydney and Melbourne are close to the top 10, coming in at #12 and #13 respectively. Singapore (#21) leads in Southeast Asia and is followed closely by Hong Kong (#23). Other Asian cities surveyed included Tokyo, Beijing, Bangalore, Shanghai, Jakarta, and Delhi.

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