Being a woman entrepreneur requires not only the support of one’s family, but an entire ecosystem of investors, policy makers, talent, market, culture and technology. As it turns out, some cities are more open and inclusive in this respect and hence are more probable to nurture women entrepreneurs and help them scale flourishing businesses.
DELL’s recent Women Entrepreneur Cities Index 2017 report that ranks global cities on their ability to attract and support women entrepreneurs, has New York on its top spot, and Delhi featured on the 49th. The research, conducted by IHC Markitlooks at various factors that help attract and support women entrepreneurs, broadly classified into “Operational Environment” and “Enabling Environment”. The report ranks the top five cities as New York, San Francisco Bay Area, London, Boston and Stockholm, and includes Delhi, the only Indian city on the list, at No. 49. While New York stands at the No. 1 position, it receives only 62.9 points out of a 100, indicating to a large scope for improvement in the global environment towards women entrepreneurship. In its second edition, the research comes with enhancements over the one from last year, with categories being fine-tuned to better represent an environment in which women entrepreneurs may thrive.
Based on a methodology that included of review of data sources, interviews with women entrepreneurs, standardizing and aggregating data, the ratings were based on five critical pillars; Market, Capital, Talent, Culture and Technology. The ‘Market’ category refers to the size of the market in which the women entrepreneur may operate, a factor on which Delhi ranks as ‘high potential’. The ‘Talent’ pillar category measures the availability of trained and skilled local workforce to run and scale the business. As funding is essential to fuel any entrepreneurial venture, and is possibly one of any women entrepreneur’s biggest challenges, the frequency and value of ‘Funding’ received by women for their businesses forms an important factor in the research. The other two pillars, ‘Culture’ and ‘Technology’ are enabling factors that can help women in business draw from each other’s experiences, shape policies and stay connected with the world via social media and the internet.
One can only hope that with the study, the cities higher up on the list can aspire to better their scores, and the ones lower, may learn from the success of others, encouraging more and more women to start their own businesses, creating more jobs and enhancing economic progress.