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Female entrepreneurship: How does Australia fare?

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
16 July 2019 2 minute readShare

A global ranking of 50 major business centres has revealed where women are best supported to establish and grow their own company. But how exactly do Australian cities compare on the world stage?

Since 2010, Dell Technologies has been undertaking its Women Entrepreneur (WE) Cities research, which ranks 50 business hubs globally based on the impact of local policies, programs and characteristics as well as national laws and customs to boost support for women entrepreneurs and the overall economy. 

Not much separates Sydney and Melbourne, according to Dell Technologies, which ranked them 12th and 13th, respectively. Those rankings earned the only two Australian cities examined as the highest across the Asia-Pacific region.


The harbour city equalled its result from the previous research conducted in 2017. Sydney was boosted by a strong showing for its access to talent, ranking fifth in the world.

Melbourne’s ranking, meanwhile, has shot up five places since 2017. According to the report, universities in Melbourne are overwhelmingly female, at 85.2 per cent.


“Every day I meet inspiring women in Australia and New Zealand, so it is heartening to see Sydney and Melbourne rank in the top 15 cities globally in our WE Cities Index report,” Dell Technologies SVP and ANZ general manager Angela Fox said.

But for women seeking to make it as entrepreneurs, it is the North American market that takes the trophy as the most growth-friendly.

The San Francisco Bay Area took out top spot on the rankings, pushing New York City into second place.

Indeed, the US and Canada took out seven of the top 10 spots on the list. London, Paris and Stockholm rounded out the top 10. The full list, as well as how each city compares with its previous performance, is shown in the table below.



Plenty of room for improvement

Despite the ranking, Dell said there is a considerable room for improvement by all cities examined to “level the field” for women in entrepreneurship.

It said that San Francisco topped the rankings with a score of only 63.7, out of a possible 100 points.

“That’s evidence that there is still much work to do to level the field for women — and validates the need for this kind of research and outreach to policymakers to move the needle for female founders,” it said.

According to the research, some of the main factors globally that serve as barriers for women include those that affect all entrepreneurs — a lack of funding, high cost of living — combined with poor representation of women in leadership roles and government policymaking.

“When we invest in women, we invest in the future, communities prosper, economies thrive and the next generation leads with purpose,” said Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell Technologies.

“By arming city leaders and policymakers with actionable, data-driven research on the landscape for women entrepreneurs, we can collectively accelerate the success of women-owned businesses by removing financial, cultural and political barriers.”

2019 Women Entrepreneurs Cities Index

Source: Dell Technologies

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Female entrepreneurship: How does Australia fare?
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at [email protected]

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