Women led businesses: Where's the best country for success?

If you're a woman and looking to start your own business, an Australian address should serve you well.

According to Dell's Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) report released today, Australia is the second best country for female-driven starts-ups to succeed, out of the 17 countries surveyed.

We came in behind the USA, but ahead of Germany, France and Mexico.

The Gender-GEDI calculated a range of different factors to determine a country's support for "high potential women", with key indicators including business environment, access to entrepreneurial networks, financial education levels and economic development all addressed.

The report authors hope to raise awareness about the importance of female participation in small business development globally with the study, by pointing out where countries can lift their game on supporting women-led businesses.

"Unleashing the power of female entrepreneurship can have a dramatic effect on a country's economy. The research clearly supports the assertion that key things need to be fixed in order for female entrepreneurship to survive and flourish," said Karen Quintos, CMO and senior vice president at Dell in a press release published with the report.

"Increased access to knowledge, networks, capital and technology are critical if countries are to empower female entrepreneurship and create a culture of success".

The report found that economic development and education isn't enough to create a strong entrepreneurial environment, as cultural and societal norms also play a determining factor. Japan, which is considered a high income country, has the lowest percentage of female managers at 9%, which the report concluded leaves women without experience to start their own companies.

Access to finance was revealed as another major barrier for female entrepreneurs, with low-performing countries also having the lowest number of women with bank accounts. Just 7% of women in Egypt have bank accounts, while in Uganda (which took the last and 17th spot on the list) just 15% of women have bank accounts.

And despite Turkey experiencing unprecedented economic growth over the past few years, it came in at number 11. With only 29% of startups in Turkey being led by women, Melek Pulatkonak, the founder of the Turkish Women's International Network, told Women in the World that just 9% of women currently make up the country's total number of entrepreneurs.

The list also revealed that there's a major gap in the ratio of male to female start-ups across the board. While Australia has 85 to 100 female to male entrepreneurs, France and the UK came in much lower (48 to100 and 46 to100 respectively), which shows a large gap of "under-utilised entrepreneurship potential".

The GENDER-GEDI Rankings

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