Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Which countries are best – and worst – for female entrepreneurs?

Anna Bruce-Lockhart
Editorial Lead, World Economic Forum
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United States

If you’re a women-led start-up, there’s officially no better place in which to build your business than the United States. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US has been named the best place for female entrepreneurs, according to a new global survey commissioned by Dell. Close behind it is Canada – with Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom rounding out the top five. Bottom of the list: Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

Countries best for female entrepreneurs

Source: Dell Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard

But while the US occupies top spot in the ranking in the survey of 31 countries, it still has a long way to go. Across the five categories evaluated (business environment, access to resources, leadership, pipelines and growth potential) the US scored just 71%. Additionally, while the country scored highest in the business environment category, only 13% of its start-ups have women on their executive team and a mere 3% of woman-helmed enterprises received venture-capital funding in 2014.

When it comes to the percentage of women in top jobs, China, Brazil, Malaysia and Nigeria perform better than the US for the number of female CEOs of publicly traded companies. And in Poland, Jamaica and Russia, 35% or more of senior managers are women, compared with just 25% in America.

Overall, the study found that more than 70% of the 31 countries surveyed scored below 50% when it came to creating the basic conditions for female entrepreneurs to succeed.

Have you read?
Why female entrepreneurs will rise in 2015
How can we nurture female tech entrepreneurs?
Which city has the most women-led start-ups?

Author: Anna Bruce-Lockhart is an editor at the World Economic Forum.

Image: A woman reflected in a window of an office in Pudong, Shanghai. September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria 

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