New Dell Research Ranks Top Cities for Women Entrepreneurs

The Dell WE Cities Index measures and ranks global cities based on ability to attract and support high-potential women entrepreneurs.

Dell Technologies is committed to accelerating the increasingly powerful role women play in driving global economic growth. An enduring example of Dell’s commitment to advancing human progress is Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). Since 2009, DWEN has been committed to the same missionto advance women entrepreneurs’ business through the power of technology, community and access to key resources. As a global network, DWEN supports more than 80,000 members who are proven engines of our global economy – women entrepreneurs. The community exists online and through a regional chapter network and special interest groups worldwide.

Dell Women Entrepreneur (WE) Cities Index – 2023 Ranks Top Cities for Women Entrepreneur

On January 26, 2023, DWEN announced findings of the 2023 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, ranking 55 global cities based on their ability to attract and foster high-potential women entrepreneurs (HPWE) who want to do more, scale faster and thrive. Building on annual research since 2016, the growing WE Cities research ranks cities based on the impact of local policies, programs and characteristics, national laws and customs to women entrepreneurs and the overall economy. WE Cities showcases how technology connects all other aspects of the business environment (e.g., markets, capital, talent and culture). The Index serves as a diagnostic tool to advise policymakers on how to better support women in business and profiles global centres of commerce by their overall suitability for women who scale.

Key elements of this year’s WE Cities research include:

WE Cities Women Entrepreneurs and Technology Deep Dive Report – Landmark insights on how WEs consider tech to scale businesses.

WE Cities Index – The fourth index ranks and details 55 global centres of commerce on their ability to advance WEs who scale and how a city’s tech ecosystem can drive business growth. London came in as the best city in the world for women entrepreneurs, with New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Paris and Stockholm close behind. Copenhagen ranked #1 in Technology for Women Entrepreneurs. 

WE Cities City Blueprints – Detailed summaries of regional advancements and areas for improvement of nine key cities. With WE Cities City Blueprints, business owners, civic leaders, policymakers and influencers can confidently move from “analysis to action” to accelerate positive change. 

Momentum Scoring – Highlighting the most improved cities since 2017.

Our 2023 WE Cities Index, including its companion study, the Women Entrepreneurs and Tech Deep Dive Report, reveal some fascinating insights. With the addition of five new cities this year, the competition is getting tighter. Cities fall behind by staying still. More cities are making it into the “top five” by pillar. In 2023, 17 different cities are represented in the top spots by pillar, compared to 12 different cities in 2019.

The 2023 Dell WE Cities Index saw overall forward progress. The median score improved 3.3 points since 2019, and all pillars improved their median score except culture, where the median score went down 2.1 points. The decrease in policy scores and attitude and expectation scores outweighed the slight increase in access to mentors and role models.

The pandemic shows some regression, especially in the talent and culture pillars. The many upheavals in the world have been crowding news cycles with positive stories about women business leaders that help elevate attitudes and expectations for women. In addition, we have observed declines in the ratio of female-to-male executives since the 2019 index. Although women’s skills and experience have increased by comparison, the median score of the overall talent pool available to women entrepreneurs has slightly decreased.

Compared to 2017 (the benchmark year), Delhi and Shanghai have made the largest improvements in their scores. However, when looking at cities that have made positive improvements in 2017 to 2019 and in 2019 to 2023, Dublin and Dubai are the top two most consistent improvers. Only three U.S. cities improved their scores in both years: Portland (Oregon), Atlanta and Miami. Of the top three global cities, only London’s score has improved during both periods. The top 10 went from having seven of the 10 cities from the U.S. to having six of the 10 from the U.S. Two new cities entered the top 10 this year, one from the U.S. and one from the Asia-Pacific region.

As 5G standards and investments continue to be rolled out, the connectedness of cities – especially when it comes to download speeds and mobile coverage (speed and latency) – is a major competitive advantage. Strong mobile coverage that gives women entrepreneurs juggling many commitments the flexibility to run their business anywhere is especially critical. Interestingly, with technology expanding market opportunities, technology can potentially be a substitute for market size. That is, a city’s traditional physical marketplace can be expanded with the digital marketplace. The size of the market can also be a hindrance when size creates internet congestion and raises costs. 

How You Can Contribute to Global Women’s Entrepreneurship: Embolden More WEs Who Scale

Our world needs women who scale more than ever before! One way each of us can contribute is by activating our networks to advocate for women entrepreneurs who scale.

Share DWEN’s latest WE Cities research with your network to expand women entrepreneurs’ access to critical resources for scale and invite business leaders and women business owners to join DWEN. 

Join DWEN as a Champion where your experience and expertise are valuable to women entrepreneurs worldwide.

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