When impediments to female entrepreneurship are removed, there is a dramatic uplift in a city’s economic prospects, according to Dell in its 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, which was completed in partnership with IHS Markit.

Revealed at the tech giant’s eighth annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit, the report ranks cities on how well they foster high potential women entrepreneurs, based on five pillars: capital, technology, talent, culture, and markets.

The five pillars (separated into two categories) Dell used to rank the cities.

While New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, London, Boston, and Stockholm are the top-five cities for women in business, Toronto is the first Canadian city on the list, placing ninth. Vancouver also made an appearance, coming in at number 26.

Toronto ranks third in culture, a critical enabler for women’s participation in commerce and measured the prevalence of relevant mentors, networks, and role models, as well as the predominant attitudes and expectations of a particular society toward women entrepreneurs. Additionally, the city ranks fifth in markets, or whether the city’s market is sufficiently sized so that scale can be achieved and to what extent local policies level the playing field for women-owned businesses, as well as seventh in the amount, value, and frequency of capital available to women entrepreneurs.

More detailed information about Vancouver was unavailable.

Interestingly, of the top 10 cities overall, only the Bay Area and New York rank in the top 10 across all five pillars.

“Globally, women’s entrepreneurship rates are growing more than 10 per cent each year. In fact, women are as likely or more likely than men to start businesses in many markets. However, financial, cultural and political barriers can limit the success of these businesses,” Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell, says in the report. “By arming city leaders and policymakers with data-driven research and clear calls to action, we can collectively improve the landscape for high-potential women entrepreneurs, which in turn dramatically lifts a city’s economic prospects – as what is good for women is good for the economy.”

Elizabeth Gore, entrepreneur-in- residence at Dell, adds that it is in the world’s best interest that women entrepreneurs everywhere thrive.

“The WE Cities Index can be used as a diagnostic tool to help ensure that lawmakers are enabling women entrepreneurs to succeed,” she continues. “Each of the cities on this list can learn from one another and encourage political change to attract and support women entrepreneurs. The resulting change will be felt at not just a city level, around the world as we develop an ecosystem where all entrepreneurs can thrive regardless of gender.”

The top 50 cities for fostering women entrepreneurs.

In the Index, Dell notes that this research is not about “showing how these 50 cities stack up against each other, but more importantly, about arming city leaders and policymakers with the insights needed to improve conditions for women entrepreneurs and subsequently for the health and well-being of their local economies.”

Currently men-owned businesses are more than three times more likely to break the USD1 million mark. The untapped potential of women in business globally is “equal to the economic output of China and India,” a phenomenon known as “the third billion,” the report quotes Booz and Co., a global strategy consulting firm.

“With more resources and attention, the world could see many more women-led businesses breaking the USD1 million barrier, thereby creating more economic prosperity and jobs,” Dell concludes.

The full list is below:

  1. New York City
  2. Bay Area
  3. London
  4. Boston
  5. Stockholm
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Singapore
  9. Toronto
  10. Seattle
  11. Sydney
  12. Paris
  13. Chicago
  14. Minneapolis
  15. Austin
  16. Hong Kong
  17. Melbourne
  18. Atlanta
  19. Amsterdam
  20. Portland (OR)
  21. Berlin
  22. Taipei
  23. Pittsburg
  24. Tel Aviv
  25. Copenhagen
  26. Vancouver
  27. Houston
  28. Johannesburg
  29. Barcelona
  30. Seoul
  31. Munich
  32. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
  33. Nairobi
  34. Dublin
  35. Warsaw
  36. Belfast
  37. Milan
  38. Beijing
  39. Tokyo
  40. Bangalore
  41. Kuala Lumpur
  42. Sao Paulo
  43. Dubai
  44. Shanghai
  45. Mexico City
  46. Lima
  47. Guadalajara
  48. Istanbul
  49. Delhi
  50. Jakarta


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