Johannesburg and Nairobi have been named amongst the 50 best cities in the world when it comes to supporting female entrepreneurs by tech firm Dell.
Dell used the eight annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit to announce the findings of its 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, revealing how 50 top global cities are fostering high-potential women entrepreneurs.
Johannesburg (28th) and Nairobi (33rd) were the only two African cities to make the list, which was topped by New York, the Bay Area, London, Boston and Stockholm.
“Globally, women’s entrepreneurship rates are growing more than 10 percent 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,” said Karen Quintos, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Dell.
“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, said it was 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 said. “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.”
Cities were ranked on five important characteristics: capital, technology, talent, culture and markets. These pillars were organised into two groups – operating environment and enabling environment.
The overall rating is based on 72 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.