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A woman walks near high-rise buildings in the high-tech business area of Tel Aviv.(Photo by: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
Tel Aviv among leading cities worldwide for women entrepreneurs
Despite dropping eight places, the city was praised for improvements in the presence of open data initiatives and access to technology.
Tel Aviv is the 32nd best city worldwide for its ability to attract and support women-owned businesses, according to Dell Technologies’ biennial Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index. 
The index, published on Monday in partnership with IHS Markit, ranks cities across the world according to their support for women entrepreneurs and the overall economy, based on five key characteristics including access to capital, technology, talent, culture and markets. 
While all 50 cities ranked in the index have made progress in supporting women in business in recent years, Tel Aviv made smaller strides than others, slipping from 24th place in 2017 to 32nd place in this year’s rankings.
Despite dropping eight places, the city was praised for improvements in the presence of open data initiatives and access to technology, and was listed as the 10th leading location for female representation on boards of directors.
The top spot was given to the San Francisco Bay Area, overtaking New York, primarily due to its status as one of the best cities for women to gain access to capital. The Bay Area is also ranked second worldwide for its women entrepreneur culture, boosted by the impact of female role models and public discourse around eliminating “bro culture.”
“When we invest in women, we invest in the future; communities prosper, economies thrive and the next generation leads with purpose,” said Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell Technologies.
“By arming city leaders and policy makers with actionable, data-driven research on the landscape for women entrepreneurs, we can collectively accelerate the success of women-owned businesses by removing financial, cultural and political barriers.”
Globally, the index details lack of funding, the high-cost of living, low representation of women in leadership roles and the lack government-led policies supporting women entrepreneurs as barriers to leveling the field for women entrepreneurs.
Even the San Francisco Bay Area, the leading city for women entrepreneurs worldwide, scored just 63.7 out of a possible 100 points in the index, suggesting that much work remains to be done to ensure full entrepreneurial equality.
“When more women work, economies grow. Technology is helping to drive this progress as a gender-neutral enabler, and helps create a level playing field,” said Amit Midha, president of Asia Pacific & Japan, Global Digital Cities at Dell Technologies. 
“Whilst all cities in the Index have improved, the crucial factor is the consistency of this improvement across the different factors that impact women entrepreneurs’ success.”
According to the Israel Innovation Authority, hi-tech start-ups led by women represent only 8% of all Israeli start-ups today – similar to much of the rest of the Western world.
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