Over 100 highly successful female entrepreneurs from around the world converged in Austin Texas this past week for Dell’s DWEN event– a special opportunity for high powered female entrepreneurs to network, share experiences and do business with one another. This year Brene Brown brought her magic during a closed doors workshop. She challenged the participants to consider:
If you are not living your dreams, you are living your fears
In other words, if you are held back by fears of failure or ‘not being good enough’ than you will never realize your full potential. But for many female entrepreneurs around the world, additional barriers exist that hold them back. The 2014 Gender-Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (GEDI) sponsored by Dell and launched during DWEN addresses this question from a slightly different angle:
Are the conditions in 30 countries favorable for women who dream of starting and scaling their businesses?
According to the 2014 Gender-GEDI results the answer is not yet.
73% of the countries lack fundamental conditions for high potential female entrepreneurship development.
Though sobering, this also indicates that there are tremendous opportunities for improvement.
Interestingly, the Index shows that top-performing countries are not necessarily the ones with the highest GDP levels; rather they are those who have committed to improving the conditions for female entrepreneurship on several fronts simultaneously, and even those with the highest scores still have room for improvement. While these countries tend to have good business-enabling environments overall, they could benefit from supporting programs designed to activated and accelerate the growth of high-potential female entrepreneurs.
To provide tangible examples on how women entrepreneurs can overcome challenges and maximize the opportunities flagged in the Gender-GEDI results, Geri Stengel wrote the engaging e-book, Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One featuring case studies of 10 women entrepreneurs.
Stay tuned! I will be revealing further highlights and insights from the 2014 Gender-GEDI Index in upcoming posts!
Both the 2014 Gender-GEDI Report and the case study ebook are free and downloadable
Ruta Aidis, PhD is VP of Research and Gender-GEDI Project Director at the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute.