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      Female entrepreneurs

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      The US is the best place to be a female entrepreneur, closely followed by Canada, Australia, Sweden and the UK, according to new research conducted by ACG and sponsored by Dell.


      The report looks at 31 countries in total and researched a series of factors in order to determine which countries around the world provide the best environment for women running their own businesses.

      It also analysed the overall business environment within the country and looked at several gender-focused factors. These include the level of access to education, banking, training and the Internet, as well as the number of women starting businesses or in leadership positions within other organisations.

      The findings are as follows:

      ?      The US came top overall.

      ?      The lack of funding available to US women in 2014 highlights that just 3% of female-owned businesses received venture capital.

      ?      The UK came fifth overall.

      ?     In Europe the top-ranking country is Sweden, ranked fourth with a score of 68 out of 100.

      ?     In Latin America, the top-ranking country is Chile.

      ?     Australia is the top-ranking country from the Asia- Pacific region, ranked second with a score of 69 out of 100.

      ?      Bangladesh (31) and Pakistan (30) coming bottom due to lack of access to education and finance for women.

      ?      Women in Nigeria start businesses at very nearly the same speed as men with nine female startups to ten male startups.

      Charlotte Deal, Director, Women?s Initiatives, Dell said: ?The world will need 600 million jobs by 2025 to employ the eligible workforce. With start-ups generating 70-90% of all new jobs, entrepreneurs represent the answer to that challenge. If we are to meet this demand, we must ensure women entrepreneurs have the opportunity to start and scale their businesses to the same level as their male counterparts. That?s why Dell created the Dell Women?s Entrepreneur Network (#DWEN) six years ago, to help women gain access to the capital, networks and technology they need for their businesses to thrive.?

      ?While there is general consensus that women are critical to our economic future, there is insufficient data to fully understand the challenges limiting the growth of women entrepreneurs and identify opportunities for improvement. Dell has commissioned this ongoing research study to address some of the information gaps and evaluate the relative conditions for high-growth female entrepreneurs across the globe. The insights we gleaned over the past two years helped to raise awareness and demonstrated that even in highly-developed countries such as the United States and Sweden, gender impediments persist.?


      Findings showed that if women started growth-oriented businesses at the same rate as men in the next two years, millions more jobs would be created:

      ?  In the U.S there would be 15 million more jobs.

      ?  In France, ranked 6th there would be 1.9 million more jobs.

      ?  In Germany, ranked 8th there would be 3.3 million more jobs.

      ?  In China, ranked 15th there would be 74.4 million more jobs.

      Recommendations on action private sectors can take in playing an instrumental role in providing women access to initiatives were as follows:

      ?  30% Club – Founded in the UK in 2010, the Club encourages companies to achieve better gender balance at all levels of organizations and take voluntary steps towards the goal of 30% women on boards by 2015. It has expanded globally with clubs operating in seven countries and will be launched in three additional countries by the end of 2015.

      ?  WEConnect – Acts as a bridge between multinationals and potential women-owned business suppliers. Operating in 18 countries worldwide from India, Peru and Mexico to Canada, the UK and the U.S.

      Further recommendations on action media actions can take in playing an instrumental role in providing women access to initiatives were as follows:

      ?  Increasing coverage of female entrepreneurs

      ?  Two breakthrough institutes are:

      1.Women for media UK launched by the UK-based 30% Club, the database compiles a list of female leaders in business, finance, government and not-for-profit sectors who are available for media comment on current affairs. The database directly connects journalists to these experts with the aim of raising women?s profiles and visibility throughout the media and beyond, as well as providing journalists with easy access to senior female thought leaders.

      2.Geena David Institute on genre in the media which inspires girls to dream beyond traditional female roles. Targets children 11 years old and under.

      It is apparent that without women participating equally and creating and scaling businesses, countries are going to miss out. High-impact female entrepreneurs play a critical role as pioneers and innovative role models ? however, gender biased continue to persist which in turn limits the development of women leaders. It is reports such as this one, that will hopefully contribute in some small way to a change in perception. With schemes across various sectors championing change through various initiatives, it is surely only a matter of time before female entrepreneurs around the globe are celebrated on the same par as our male counterparts.

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      Amelia Walker

      Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Amelia Walker