What You Should Know About the 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index

Earlier this week, Karen Quintos wrote about the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) Summit and I wanted to follow up on something she shared in that post – the results of our 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities).

Photo of New York City - top overall in the 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities)

Photo by Philipp Henzler on Unsplash

This is a unique global study conducted in partnership with IHS that we piloted last year to assess and compare cities around the world in terms of their ability to attract and foster high-potential women entrepreneurs. That successful pilot led to us to scale this year to a 50 cities WE Cities Index that incorporates what was learned from the 2016 Index.

2017 Cities List vs 2016

It turns out, though, that you can’t actually make an apples-to-apples comparison between last year’s and this year’s scores and rankings because there are several differences including:

  • We expanded to 50 versus 25 global cities,
  • We added a new indicator, bringing the total to 72 versus 71,
  • Weighting of indicators, subcategories and pillars changed slightly to account for new data sources, comparability and effective weights, and
  • Two indicators were re-assigned under the capital sub-categories.

Comparisons to Be Made

Despite the differences in 2016 and 2017, on the indicators that are the same we can make some comparisons.

For example, all 25 cities in the Index last year increased the number of accelerators in their city. And many cities saw an increase in the number of accelerators as well as an increase in the amount of funding going to women entrepreneurs

Since I live there, I’m particularly happy to see that Austin, TX, has notably improved in its access to capital for women, both by having more women businesses funded than last year and having more women founded VC firms.

The biggest improvements across most of the original cities is in the area of Markets and Capital, where many cities saw an increase in the number of accelerators as well as an increase in the amount of funding going to women entrepreneurs, perhaps helped by an increase in the number of female founded VC’s in many cities.

2017 Highlights

“It is in the world’s best interest that women entrepreneurs everywhere thrive. The WE Cities Index can be used as a diagnostic tool to help ensure that lawmakers are enabling women entrepreneurs to succeed,” said Elizabeth Gore, entrepreneur-in- residence at Dell.

Some of the things it discovered this year include:

  • New York City ranks No. 1 overall among the 50 cities for its ability to attract and support high-potential women entrepreneurs. However, its total score of 62.9 out of 100, leaves much room for improvementl
  • In the top 10 cities overall, six are in the U.S., two are in Europe, one is in Canada and one is in Asia.
  • Forty-one of the cities in this index are in the top five for at least one pillar or sub-category; 34 of the cities are in the bottom five for at least one of the pillars or sub-categories – demonstrating the competitiveness of these 50 cities.

Infographic chart of Dell Global WE Cities Rankings for 2017