Nairobi and Johannesburg are the only African cities that made a cut in the 50 best cities in the globe when it comes to offering a favourable platform and supporting female entrepreneurs. These findings have been made official by a yearly Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit, which revealed the details of its 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE) Cities Index.
“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.”
According WE Cities, the Dell Entrepreneur Cities Index is ‘a measure of a city’s ability to attract and support high potential women entrepreneurs i.e., women that want to grow and scale their business.’ That aside, the investigation’s criteria pegged its findings on multiple pillars, including a city’s operating environment such as markets, talent and capital, as well as an enabling environment that encompasses culture and technology.
Based on these pillars, Johannesburg and Nairobi, which ranked 28th and 33rd respectively were among the best cities in Africa where there is a likelihood of finding women with the training and experience that is paramount in managing and scaling a business, in addition to the availability of local labour force with expertise and education needed for a woman entrepreneur to build a well-functioning workforce.
What’s more, the index looked into technology’s provisions, of which Nairobi and Joburg performed admirably. For instance, women entrepreneur’s connectivity via the internet and social media, connectivity options and their costs as well as policies that favour access to information, data and technology were found to be among the best in the two African cities.
“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.”
Among the top cities in the ranking were New York at the top spot, followed by San Francisco, London, Boston, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Singapore, Toronto and Seattle for the first ten positions.