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Women Entrepreneurs Are Still Underrepresented In Most Countries

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By: Brittney Helmrich
Published: 06/05/2014 05:54 AM EDT on BusinessNewsDaily

Even in the most developed markets around the world, women remain greatly underrepresented in the ranks of entrepreneurs, new research from Dell shows.

More than 75 percent of the 30 countries surveyed in the second annual Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) fail to meet the fundamental conditions for female entrepreneurs to survive and prosper, the computer giant, which sponsored the index, announced yesterday (June 3).

The Gender-GEDI is the world's only diagnostic tool to comprehensively measure high-potential female entrepreneurship in developed and developing economies spanning multiple regions, Dell said.

"To harness the full potential of the low-performing countries, the Gender-GEDI results demonstrate that basic improvements are required in terms of access to equal legal rights and education as well as acceptance of women’s social and economic empowerment," said Ruta Aidis, project director for the Gender-GEDI study. [Work Isn't Fair ... Especially for Women ]

Findings showed that the top three countries for female entrepreneurship are the United States, Australia and Sweden, with Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan ranking at the bottom. Twenty-three out of the 30 countries surveyed scored less than 50 out of 100 indicators.

The Gender-GEDI also summed up some of the issues female entrepreneurs face. In 14 of the 30 countries surveyed, 50 percent or more of the female population have little or no access to financial resources such as bank loans and credit lines, and because of that, women receive less funding for their businesses than men. Many industries remain male-dominated, and women's rights and education still need to be addressed in many of the countries surveyed.

The good news is, in emerging markets, female startup activity is on the rise. In Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the ratio of female startups to male startups are fairly high.

For those who want to read more about overcoming the challenges of female entrepreneurship, Dell released an e-book yesterday titled "Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One." The e-book is available for download at Dell.com/women.

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