UK trails US, Canada, Oz and Sweden for female entrepreneurship

The UK has ranked fifth for female-friendliness in the business world, below the US, Canada, Australia and Sweden.

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The UK has ranked fifth for female-friendliness in the business world, below the US, Canada, Australia and Sweden.

Over 70 percent of the 31 countries in the study, commissioned by Dell, demonstrated a significant growth gap between female and male-owned businesses worldwide.

Marked against a gender diversity score-card, the UK ranked fifth overall after rating women's access to resources, leadership and rights, and potential for high growth business, amongst other indicators. The data was sourced from existing internationally recognised datasets, including the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, World Economic Forum, World Bank, UNESCO, ILO and others.

The UK leads the way with “87 percent of women using the internet and close to 100 percent with bank accounts” but in stark contrast, only 10 percent of Pakistani women use the internet and three percent have access to a bank account, the study found.

Even the top ranking country, the United States, suffered some poor gender diversity figures. Only 13 percent of its startups have women on their executive team.

Further, only three percent of US startups with female CEOs received venture capital funding in 2014.

The countries with the highest amount of female CEOs, have 95 percent male CEOs - China, Brazil, Malaysia and Nigeria. The top ten countries fall even lower and just 2 percent of the UK’s CEOs are female.  

“The success of entrepreneurs and small businesses is critical for a thriving global economy, and at Dell we believe women entrepreneurs must play a much more prominent role in business and leadership in the future,” said Karen Quintos, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Dell.

Ethnic diversity in the UK

Ethnic diversity in UK’s boardrooms is declining too, despite the wealth of Asian talent in tech with household names like James Caan of Dragon’s Den and Funding Circle’s Samir Desai.

This pool of UK talent has not filtered through to the FTSE 100 boardroom. Despite an increased focus on diversity amongst corporations, just under two thirds of FTSE companies now have an all-white board - more than last year.

Further, there are no executive directors of Chinese or east Asian heritage in the FTSE 100.

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