What makes a top global city for high potential women entrepreneurs?

The 2016 Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index has just been published and Johannesburg is the only African city to make the list, which measures a city’s ability to attract and support high potential women entrepreneurs i.e., women that want to grow and scale their business. The rating has 5 pillars, divided into 2 categories, Operational Environment and Enabling Environment, and looks at Access to Capital, Markets, Talent, Culture and Technology. The 25 cities in the rankings were chosen from the list of 50 global cities in the Dell Future Ready Economies (FRE) Model in order to make comparisons between the two indices, with geographic diversity utilized as a key criteria in city selection. Johannesburg, though not on the Global 50, was added because South Africa is hosting this year’s Dell Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) Summit. The 50 global cities of the FRE were chosen for that study based on their size as well as their average growth over the last 5 years. As such, cities included in the WE Cities rankings are already strong, as compared to global peers, in the commercial aspects of future readiness. Although making the list this year, Johannesburg does need to address a number of challenges highlighted in the report which could hold back women entrepreneurs in the future. These include greater access to capital, improved technology (greater internet connectivity and policies enabling greater use of technology by women), and increased size of markets to support the growth of high potential women entrepreneurs.