31 July 2018

Singapore gets Women Entrepreneur City Blueprint

Source: Dell SlideShare. Cover slide for the deck introducing the Dell 2018 Women Entrepreneur Cities Study.
Source: Dell SlideShare. Cover slide for the deck introducing the Dell 2018 Women Entrepreneur Cities Study.

Dell has unveiled new diagnostic tools for local governments and policymakers to help enable women entrepreneurs to succeed at the 9th annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit (DWEN) in Toronto, Canada.

Built on the findings of the 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index Dell, with research partner IHS Markit has developed deep-dive analyses on the barriers and opportunities for women entrepreneurs accessing capital and leveraging technology to scale. Dell also developed 10 city blueprints designed to spotlight actions a city can take to improve the ecosystem for women entrepreneurs.

“Women’s entrepreneurship rates rose globally by 13% in 2017, reflecting broader momentum of increased female representation across the public and private sectors in many regions around the world. However, access to capital and technology, as well as cultural and political barriers, continue to limit the success of women-owned businesses,” said Karen Quintos, Executive VP and Chief Customer Officer at Dell.

“With the release of the WE City Deep Dives and Blueprintsleaders and policymakers can confidently move from ‘analysis to action,’ accelerating positive change that allows women entrepreneurs to thrive – which benefits local communities, wider society and the global economy."

“According to extensive data and analysis, when barriers to women entrepreneurship are removed, there is a dramatic uplift in a city’s economic prospects,” said Cris Turner, VP of Government Affairs at Dell. “The WE City Deep Dives and Blueprints offer insights on what cities on the list can learn from one another and encourage political action to attract and support women entrepreneurs at the local level.”

WE City Blueprints

The WE City Blueprints look at areas of strength and areas of improvement to provide city leaders and policymakers with data-driven research and recommendations on how to foster high-potential women entrepreneurs.

Blueprint cities include:
  • Austin, Texas, US
  • Boston, Massachussetts, US
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Toronto, Canada
  • London, UK
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Singapore

“Being the only Asian city that made it to the top 10 of all the cities measured, Singapore holds huge promise and opportunity for women entrepreneurs. We believe that by highlighting these differences and successes via the WE City Deep Dives and Blueprints, we can collectively improve the landscape for high-potential women entrepreneurs,” said Eric Goh, VP, Singapore Enterprise Business, Dell EMC.

Singapore ranked No. 8 within the top 10. It ranks No. 7 in terms of Capital, No. 6 in Enabling Environment, No. 5 in Culture and No. 10 in Technology. On the dimensions that are measured:

- Singapore does particularly well on policies that can help impact a supportive culture for women entrepreneurs and provide capital.

- Singapore scores well above the median level in the areas of safety and security, ease of starting a business and access to open and flexible technology.

Specifically, Singapore's strengths are in:

Policies that can help impact a supportive technology and culture for women entrepreneurs including top scores in:

✓ Collection of city level data on income or employment by gender
✓ Frequency of city events for women entrepreneurs or businesswomen
✓ Gender equality in Facebook use
✓ Open data initiatives
✓ Paid maternity and paternity leave
✓ Presence of a city portal/website for business creation

- Singapore ranked relatively lower in the areas of markets and talent. While some of this is due to factors such as population and presence of global universities, some represent opportunity where Singapore can make significant progress for women entrepreneurs. Areas to improve include:

• Singaporean society places a high value on meritocratic advancement, leaving behind underrepresented groups as a result. The government has taken some steps to rectify unbalanced representation, but large gaps remain

• Singapore falls behind Beijing and Shanghai for having the highest female labour force participation rate (LFPR) at 60.4%. Singapore does not have a policy for “equal remunerator for work of equal value”, it is important to note that only three of the 11 Asian cities do. The city, among the rest of the Asian cities, does have a policy for paid maternity leave and it is among the majority for having a paid paternity leave policy

Key recommendations for Singapore:

• Policies to level the playing field for working women, and particularly help them return to work after having children, will help women get the experience they need to found successful businesses

• Though a commitment to flexible work practices has been emphasised and improving in the past ten years, further policies that improve work/life balance, and a commitment to encourage employees to take advantage of those policies, would help women take on leadership roles

• Less than 10% of company boards are women. Singapore should encourage women to serve in leadership roles in businesses by promoting them more publicly

• Policies that give women more access to capital, including working towards equal pay, will be important in encouraging women to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities

Capital and technology are critical for scaling any business, but women face unique challenges with both. In 2017, only 2% of venture funding went to female founders. Based on the qualitative analysis of the WE Cities Index and insights from members of the DWEN network, many women entrepreneurs are not leveraging innovative technologies to scale their businesses.

WE Cities ranking and methodology

Built on the past six years of Dell research on high-potential women entrepreneurs (HPWE), cities were ranked on five important characteristics: capital, technology, talent, culture and markets. These pillars were organised into two groups — operating environment and enabling environment. The overall rating is based on 72 indicators; 45 of these, nearly two-thirds, have a gender-based component. Individual indicators were weighted based on four criteria: relevance, quality of underlying data, uniqueness in the index and gender component.

The 50 cities were ranked as follows:

  • New York City, New York, US
  • Bay Area, California, US
  • London, UK
  • Boston, Massachussetts, US
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Los Angeles, California, US
  • Washington DC, US
  • Singapore
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Seattle, Washington, US
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Paris, France
  • Chicago, Illinois, US
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
  • Austin, Texas, US
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Atlanta, US
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Portland, Oregon, US
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Houston, US
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Munich, Germany
  • Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, US
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Milan, Italy
  • Beijing, China
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Bangalore, India
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Shanghai, China
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Lima, Peru
  • Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Delhi, India
  • Jakarta, Indonesia

Key Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) findings include:

Access and use of technology varies widely across cities, but in general, Western cities and highly developed Asian cities outperform the rest. In APJ, Hong Kong (No. 5) and Singapore (No. 10) made it to the top 10 cities under the Technology pillar. Sydney is a benchmark city recognised as an emerging global entrepreneurship centre and ranks No. 23 in the Technology pillar.

Obtaining capital to start or expand a business is one of the biggest obstacles for women entrepreneurs. San Francisco greatly outperforms the other cities but in APJ, Singapore (No. 7) and Beijing (No. 10) made it to the top 10 cities under the Capital pillar.