By Sydney Ringer, WIPP Government Relations Intern
Earlier this year, Dell released their 2015 Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard, a new data-driven diagnostic tool that identifies the impediments to high-impact entrepreneurship. It also introduces steps that can be taken to improve the conditions for high-impact female entrepreneurship development. Countries were rated on five categories: business environment, gendered access, leadership and rights, pipeline for entrepreneurship, and potential entrepreneur leaders. The United States, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, and Canada are at the top of the list.
While the United States was at the top of the rankings system, our rating was still only 71/100 across the categories. Only 13% of start-ups have women on their executive team, and just 3% of start-ups with women CEOs received venture capital funding in 2014. According to Dr. Ruta Aidis, the project director, “if women entrepreneurs were starting growth-oriented businesses at the same rate as men in the United States, we could potentially have 15 million more jobs in the next two years”. The Scored is another reminder of just how challenging it can be for women to succeed even today, and even in countries like the United Sates.
First, female role models in business and government are critically important. In the U.S. only 22% of the female population knows an entrepreneur despite 46% of women believing they have the skills necessary to start a business. Women entrepreneurs can leverage their success to provide real business insights on how to encourage women to start their own businesses. Once Women decide to start their own business they have modest aspirations because access to capital is still a huge barrier. Women-owned companies are 50% less capitalized than their male-owned counterparts.
While this report demonstrates all the growth the United States and other countries still need to do, it also presents some interesting ways to encourage women entrepreneurs. On the international level, the International Trade Centre launched a global initiative to increase the proportion of public procurement contracts being awarded to women owned businesses. The study also suggests corporations diversify their leadership and increase the number of women-owned business vendors in their supply chain.
The media can also play an important role as well. Right now global media only features women as subjects in print, radio and television 25% of the time. Seeing more articles featuring women as the top story on their homepage could inspire women to follow in their footsteps.
Every country in the study, even the top rated, has room for improvement. More than 70% of the countries still rated scored less than 50 out of 100. Despite challenges, women-owned businesses are growing, but they would be growing at an exponentially faster rate if they got some encouragement from their governments, corporations, media, and other entrepreneurs.
 CNN Money, “The Best Country For Women Entrepreneurs.” 2015. Available online at http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/30/smallbusiness/women-entrepreneurs-dell/index.html?category=smallbusiness
 “Global Women Entrepreneur Scorecard Executive Summary”. 2015. Available online at http://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/corporate/secure/en/Documents/2015-GWEL-Scorecard-Executive-Summary.pdf