Singapore named as top city for female entrepreneurs

Author: PM editorial | Date: 29 Jun 2016

Global cities study ranks Singapore as the Asian city with the greatest ability to attract and foster female entrepreneurs

Singapore has achieved fifth position in a global index which ranks the top 25 cities in terms of their development of high potential women entrepreneurs (HPWE) – the highest ranking city in Asia.
Produced by computer manufacturer Dell, in collaboration with insight and analysis provider IHS, the Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index is the only gender-specific index which looks at an area’s abilities to attract and foster growth of organisations owned by women.
Beijing was named a ‘city to watch’ at number 13 on the list, while Hong Kong came in at number 14, Taipei at 15, Shanghai at 16 and Tokyo in 17th place. The top four cities in the world were New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, London and Stockholm.
The index takes into account five key factors in its analysis of each city: capital, technology, talent, culture and markets. Of the 70 rating indicators, 44 had a gender-based component.
Singapore, which was recently voted as the best destination in the world for expats, ranked in the top third of the table in three areas: technology (3rd), culture (5th) and talent (8th). In contrast, Hong Kong did not make the top five in any of the five focus areas. Its highest positions were 7th for technology and 9th for capital.
Findings from the report also highlighted the potential for notable steps being taken to support and attract HPWE in Jakarta – 24th in the list – which ranked last for all the talent categories and 17th or below for all the culture categories, such as improving education and training and providing access to female mentors and role models.
According to the research, women represent untapped potential in the world of global business with only 2 per cent of businesses owned by women generating revenues of more than US$1 million.
“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,” says Quintos.
Despite Singapore’s high ranking in the index, the Singapore Institute of Directors’ 2015 survey revealed that half of boards have no women on their team – and a third have only one. Meanwhile, a report by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit earlier this year stated that gender imbalance in the workplace is felt more strongly in Singapore than countries such as Indonesia or Malaysia.
However, this was in contrast to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Gender Gap Report, which placed Singapore at 54 out of 145 countries surveyed on gender equality, with Indonesia and Malaysia much further down the list at 92 and 111 respectively.