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Women entrepreneurship: India has moderate startup activity

Jun 12 2014, 17:14 IST
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SummaryIn India and Pakistan, formal employment is so highly sex segregated that no employment sectors are balanced.

Australia has been named one of three best places for female entrepreneurship, together with the United States and Sweden, while India increased its ranking in 2014, compared to last year.

Announcing the results of the second annual Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), Dell revealed that more than 75 per cent of the countries surveyed were not meeting the most fundamental conditions required for female entrepreneurs to prosper.

Among the 17 countries included in both the 2013 and 2014 Gender-GEDI reports, four increased their rankings, including India and Japan in APJ, while four showed a decline (Malaysia, Egypt, Mexico and Morocco), and the others ranked comparatively both years.

According to the study, India has moderate female entrepreneurship environment in terms of women identifying opportunities to start businesses (60%), feeling they have the skills (52%) and do not fear failure in starting a business (57%).

The highest performing country from APJ in the 2014 Gender-GEDI rankings was Australia. For the second year in a row, Australia (80) came out on top in the 2014 Gender-GEDI rankings, with the remaining high-performing countries all OECD member countries with highly developed economies. Australia is recognized for providing a good environment to start a business as well as having a high percentage of female business owners who were highly educated. The country also had the most female technology startups out of the 30 countries studied.

However, 23 out of 30 countries studied received an overall index score of less than 50 out of 100, indicating that many of the fundamental conditions for high potential female entrepreneurship development are generally lacking in the majority of countries.

Occupation crowding, or the existence of ‘male’ and ‘female’ jobs in a country’s economy, not only contributes to the gender wage gap but also results in the concentration of women’s entrepreneurial activity within specific sectors, which can be detrimental to fully utilizing a nation’s innovative capacities. Out of the 30 countries, only eight received an overall balanced ratio across employment sectors, and in India and Pakistan, formal employment is so highly sex segregated that no employment sectors are balanced.

Despite being ranked as top performers and characterized by overall favorable business environments, opportunity perception is fairly low in the United States and Europe with less than one third of the female population measured identifying business opportunities. In Africa, this number reaches 69 percent. Even with challenges around access to education and capital, female startup activity in the

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