Today, women entrepreneurs run some of the most successful and notable enterprises around the world such as Sara Blakely’s Spanx, Weili Dai’s Marvell Technologies, and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios/OWN. This fact makes it evermore interesting to examine how female entrepreneurship plays out across the world.
GEN partner the Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute recently released the Female Entrepreneurship Index, which provides an international perspective on how women are contributing to the business landscape. The index serves to examine the factors that impact women’s enterprise in order to inform policy makers and government officials of how to improve upon these conditions.
Since entrepreneurship is largely defined, the index focuses on high-potential female entrepreneurs. These are entrepreneurs who operate businesses that yield higher profit margins and serve to expand the market through innovation. Female entrepreneurs, whether on a small or large scale, are important to the growth of their national economies. They help to support women’s economic welfare, while also creating jobs, products, and services, and opportunities for other individuals. The index separates the success of female entrepreneurs by nation to highlight the differences among the 77 that were examined.
The index analyzes approximately thirty different factors that affect women’s entrepreneurship, some of which include opportunity recognition, equal rights, business risk, and secondary education. The report presents every country’s data with a series of bar graphs and highlights both the highest and lowest scored factor. In Algeria for example, “willingness to start” a business was the highest scored factor, while “R&D expenditure” maintained the lowest score. These specific results are interesting for the index in that they suggest which aspects of entrepreneurial development are important in different nations. Additionally, the index notes countries that have improved in their efforts, such as the Czech Republic, Greece, and Jamaica who have each shown significant increases within the given year. While all of these efforts are positive, it remains true that some countries stand out for having exceptional conditions for female entrepreneurial development.
The 2015 index reports that the United States ranks highly for supporting women entrepreneurs in terms of market size, business risk, and third tier financing. As the highest ranked nation, with a score of 82.9, female entrepreneurial efforts in America continue to improve positively. Chile and Australia have also maintained strong positions in ranking on the index’s comparative measure.
The Female Entrepreneurship Index is a great tool for all entrepreneurs to utilize when considering their business endeavors. Its data provides insight into some of the positive transitions happening across the world. By investing more into entrepreneurship, nations are investing in their citizens and overall economic futures. Women’s entrepreneurship is not just a small part of these efforts. Female entrepreneurship will contribute significantly as women play an important role in business and development. Women led enterprises often inspire other women to enter into the business landscape, and contribute to the overall mission. As the years go on, female entrepreneurship will hopefully continue to improve across the world. The hope is that nations will continue their efforts, sending women’s business leadership into an upward trend.
See the Female Entrepreneurship Index to learn more about women’s entrepreneurship across the world.