At the White House’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Dell unveiled the findings of its 2016 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index, which evaluated the top 25 cities across the world fostering and support women-led businesses. Toronto ranked sixth overall.
“Innovation and job creation by women entrepreneurs is critical for a thriving global economy, yet our research shows some cities and countries are doing far more than others to encourage and support this important subset of the startup community,” said Karen Quintos, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Dell. “Our index provides insights to move the conversation with policymakers and city leaders from awareness to action and, in turn, to empower women entrepreneurs to have the greatest economic impact on the world.”
The cities were evaluated based on five categories of city characteristics: capital, technology, talent, culture, and markets.
Toronto ranked first out of all the cities in the area of culture, which was considered an “enabling environment” factor in fostering women’s entrepreneurship. Toronto’s culture, according to the study, had a high presence of mentors, networks, and role models. Predominant attitudes and expectations of each city toward women entrepreneurs was also factored.
Toronto ranked seventh in the market category evaluating whether entrepreneurs function in a market of sufficient size, and ninth in talent, which looked at the availability of labour force with the skills and education necessary for an entrepreneur to build a well-functioning team. Toronto did not make the top ten list for capital and technology.
“Women entrepreneurs are our Country’s best bet for economic growth,” said Elizabeth Gore, entrepreneur-in-residence for Dell. “It’s time for women to be politically engaged to ensure the right ecosystems are in place for them to scale. If politicians and entrepreneurs partner, dynamic policies can be put in place to close the circle and enhance the process from idea to enterprise. WE Cities can be used as a diagnostic tool to help ensure lawmakers are listening to their needs.”