Women’s role in the workforce has changed dramatically over the last 100 years. After the stock market crash of 1929, the need for a gender balance kicked into overdrive and women’s economic status and stability have since become some of the strongest indicators of their broader community’s prosperity.
In fact, The Center for American Progress reported in 2017 that “the share of breadwinning or co-breadwinning mothers has more than doubled since 1967,” increasing the proportion of families who rely on women’s income from 15.9% to 41%. Similarly, an April 2006 article in The Economist indicated that “the increased employment of women in developed economies has contributed much more to global growth than China has.” If there’s one thing that has proven true over the last century, it’s that the world thrives when women are empowered by their earnings.
In more recent history, studies have shown that when women are able to take their earning potential into their own hands—by becoming entrepreneurs—the economic impact is significant. The National Association of Women Business Owners in 2017 reported more than 11.6 million firms owned by women in the United States; these firms employed nearly 9 million people and generated $1.7 trillion in sales. It comes as no surprise that women entrepreneurs’ performance has steadily increased year over year, even in the midst of The Great Recession of the mid-2000s, when male- and mixed gender-owned firms’ performance waned.
This understanding then begs the question: what can be done to catalyze women entrepreneurs’ success? Enter Dell’s dedication to mitigating the obstacles in the path of women starting and growing their businesses. Dell has conducted annual research since 2016 to identify global cities that enable women entrepreneurs and create ideal environments for them to thrive. The result is an index highlighting these places where local policies and national laws and customs create the greatest opportunity for women entrepreneurs. Dell has since measured and ranked the extent to which each city has progressed in key operational and cultural areas where women can:
- Operate in a fair and level market
- Find the right talent and expertise
- Have equal access to financial capital
- Celebrate women entrepreneurs
- Enable business through technology
Review the following Executive Summary and dive into the findings—you may be surprised by which cities had the most dramatic improvement. We look forward to leveraging the WE Cities Index and the policy recommendations surrounding women entrepreneurship advocacy to create opportunities for women entrepreneurs’ success around the world.