According to a study produced by ACG, Inc. and sponsored by Dell, Inc., the United States ranks first among the best countries for female entrepreneurship. The U.S. received a total score of 71 out of a possible 100, and was followed closely by Canada (69), Australia (69), Sweden (68), and the United Kingdom (65).
The results were obtained through the utilization of the “2015 Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard,” a new data-driven diagnostic tool that identifies the obstacles for female entrepreneurs in a given country and provides possible solutions for them.
The 31 countries included in the study were judged based on five categories:
- Business Environment
High scores are assigned to countries that are not exceedingly hindered by corruption or regulations, where there are no monopolies, capital is available, R&D investments are high, and innovation is championed.
- Gendered Access
High scores are assigned to countries where women have secure access to essential resources such as education, training programs, and the Internet.
- Leadership and Rights
High scores are assigned to countries where women have equal rights and receive equal treatment in the public and professional arenas.
- Pipeline for Entrepreneurship
High scores are assigned to countries where women are participating in startups at the same rate as men, and where women feel prepared and capable of starting a business.
- Potential Entrepreneur Leaders
High scores are assigned to countries where higher percentages of women who start a business are college-educated, growth-oriented, and market expanding.
The study offers a variety of recommendations for the attainment of gender equality in the entrepreneurial arena. For the government, it suggests a gendered public procurement policy and sophisticated gendered data collection. Recommendations for the private sector include diversifying leadership and leveraging buying power to promote supplier diversity.
For the media, the report suggests increasing coverage of prominent female entrepreneurs and promoting a balanced image of thriving businesswomen. Leading entrepreneurs are advised to raise awareness, use their influence to counsel the younger generation, and work with government and non-governmental organizations to promote female entrepreneurs.
On an individual level, the scorecard suggests utilizing shareholder rights to call for diversity and demanding local and national authorities to provide data on female entrepreneurs and their access to publicly-funded programs.
Even though the U.S. ranks first in the world with 71 points, that is still 29 points shy of an equal environment for female entrepreneurs. There is much room for improvement, and efforts to promote and implement equality in the workplace are essential.