At the 10th annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit in Singapore, Dell announced findings of the 2019 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, ranking 50 global cities on their ability to foster growth for women entrepreneurs. Dell ranks cities based on the impact of local policies, programmes and characteristics in addition to national laws and customs to help improve support for women entrepreneurs and the overall economy.
Building on 10 years of research on women entrepreneurs, Dell partnered with IHS Markit to research and rank 50 cities on five important characteristics, including access to Capital, Technology, Talent, Culture and Markets. These pillars were organised into two groups — operating environment and enabling environment. The overall rating is based on 71 indicators; 45 of which have a gender-based component. Individual indicators were weighted based on four criteria: relevance, quality of underlying data, uniqueness in the index and gender component.
All 50 cities made progress since 2017. However, some cities made bigger strides than others and the race to the top inevitably left some cities behind.
In Asia Pacific (APAC), cities are improving as facilitators of growing businesses for women entrepreneurs alongside all other cities globally. Singapore ranks in the top half of the Index and is ahead of other cities in the region, behind only Sydney and Melbourne.
2019 WE Cities Index Rankings:
“When we invest in women, we invest in the future; communities prosper, economies thrive and the next generation leads with purpose,” said Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell Technologies. “By arming city leaders and policymakers with actionable, data-driven research on the landscape for women entrepreneurs, we can collectively accelerate the success of women-owned businesses by removing financial, cultural and political barriers.”
“When more women work, economies grow. Technology is helping to drive this progress as a gender-neutral enabler, and helps create a level playing field,” said Amit Midha, president of Asia Pacific & Japan, Global Digital Cities at Dell Technologies. “Whilst all cities in the Index have improved, the crucial factor is the consistency of this improvement across the different factors that impact women entrepreneurs’ success. The WE Cities Index helps Dell Technologies get closer to our customers and understand the landscape in each city so we are better able to help women entrepreneurs scale their businesses.”
“Singapore’s strong base in technology literacy and access to talent position it well to realise its goal in becoming the world’s first Smart Nation,” said Eric Goh, vice president and managing director, Singapore, Dell Technologies. “This vision requires the collective effort of the public and private sector, to enable and equip individuals of all genders as agents of change. By highlighting the complex challenges that women entrepreneurs face in Singapore, we hope to be able to drive meaningful conversations and growth as we embark on this nationwide digital transformation journey.”
“The 2019 Dell WE Cities report is unique from other bodies of research in that it not only ranks 50 global cities on their ability to foster women entrepreneurs, it shows how the cities have improved from their 2017 benchmark,” said Karen Campbell, consulting associate director, IHS Markit. “This year we can see some patterns emerging. Ranked cities have collectively made the most improvement in the Capital and Culture pillars, which shows the importance of measuring not just the operating environment but also enabling environment for women entrepreneurs. This data-driven approach shows where women entrepreneurs still face barriers in scaling their business.”
Advocating for Women Entrepreneurs
The 2017 to 2019 WE Cities Index results highlight the successes and challenges that each city faces, and where cities can learn best practices from one another. These key learnings, if supported by local governments, can add up to big changes for women-owned businesses, globally.
Based on the findings and comparison between the 2017-2019 indices, Dell has developed a set of WE Cities Policy Recommendations focused on three areas, including:
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