You have a great idea, and you want to run a start-up and be an entrepreneur right?

Congratulations on being a rare breed of women who plan to become an entrepreneur!

Unfortunately, though, despite the rapid modernisation and globalisation of the world’s major cities, not all locations are made equal – there are several countries that allow for women entrepreneurs to better flourish and thrive while other countries and cities still lag far behind in terms of women’s’ equality and treatment as entrepreneurs.

As it turns out, the age-old saying in real estate – location, location, location – still holds true for entrepreneurs all across the world, female or not.

Best Countries To Be Female Entrepreneurs

Based on a study these countries are unsurprisingly the United States, Canada and Australia. This is due to the host of subsidies and tax relief programmes that are widely available and obtainable by entrepreneurs of both sexes.

In the same study listed above, the worst countries for female entrepreneurs are Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, due to the cultural differences in the way both sexes are treated, as well as societal norms that shape these countries’ living norms.

The Worst And Best Countries To Be Female Entrepreneurs

That said, just because the culture in the US, Canada and Australia are welcoming and offer a lot of help, doesn’t reduce the inherent difficulty of being an entrepreneur. It is quite well known that perhaps only 1 in 10 entrepreneur’s start-up succeeds, and within that 1 in 10, maybe only 10% of that actually go on to list their companies in the stock market.

Only 1 in 10 SUCCESSFUL start-ups goes on to listing. Hopefully, that puts things in perspective! This is an overall statistic for both sexes.

However, another possible reason for the few wildly successful women entrepreneurs is that there is a relatively small percentage of women who want to grow their companies to a significant degree. Only 21% of women entrepreneurs polled wanted to increase their market capitalisation by 50% or more, a study suggests.

In a way, it is a huge opportunity cost; women represent approximately 50% of the world’s population. Can you imagine the huge number of misses in world improvements and innovations that can potentially revolutionise the world, all because there are some women who can’t – or choose not to – start a business because of the various factors that work against them?

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Another possible reason for the relatively low numbers of female entrepreneurs is the lack of capital available to them. Even in countries that promote their growth, it is worth noting that companies founded by women, or have female CEOs are approximately 50% LESS funded than their male counterparts, and a mere 3% of start-ups that received venture capital funding in 2014 have female CEOs.

In the study, it would seem that the majority of female start-up problems would revolve around a lack of capital or a lack of basic business resources and in emerging economies, cultural restrictions and societal stereotypes (as mentioned above).

The Worst And Best Countries To Be Female Entrepreneurs

For example, a woman in India can found a micro business that serves her fellow women, but there is a chance that the men would not support her. Even banks might refuse a loan grant to her, simply because she is a woman.

In neighbouring Pakistan, women don’t have it much easier either; with only 10% of women having access to the internet, and an even more paltry 3% with bank accounts, it isn’t too difficult to see the near insurmountable obstacles a Pakistani woman has to overcome just to start even a micro business.

Another example would be a woman in Nigeria who is considering starting something. While the rampant sexism against women isn’t as apparent, the sheer volume of corruption that exists in its business environment would be a high barricade for her to climb over to pursue her dreams.

Thankfully here in Singapore, entrepreneurs of both sexes are equally welcomed and given equal opportunities here. If you’re interested in learning more about entrepreneurship, look no further than our very own entrepreneurship page!

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).



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