Even with the fastest growing startup ecosystem in the world, India is a bleak place for women entrepreneurs.  India was ranked 29th, in a new study of 31 countries, for the support it provides to women entrepreneurs.  

The only two countries that stand below India in the Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard are Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

Here is the complete ranking:

Ranking Country Score
1 US 71
2 Canada 69
3 Australia 69
4 Sweden 68
5 UK 65
6 France 62
7 Germany 61
8 Poland 56
9 Chile 51
10 Japan 49
11 Spain 49
12 Jamaica 49
13 Mexico 46
14 Peru 45
15 Panama 44
16 China 44
17 South Korea 44
18 Brazil 43
19 Russia 43
20 South Africa 41
21 Malaysia 40
22 Thailand 39
23 Nigeria 38
24 Turkey 36
25 Uganda 36
26 Ghana 35
27 Tunisia 29
28 Egypt 24
29 India 17
30 Pakistan 14
31 Bangladesh 12

The ranking is based on five categories:

  • Business environment: State of regulations, corruption and monopolies, availability of capital, and R&D investments (India’s rank: 18)
  • Gender access: Women’s access to fundamental resources including education, internet, bank accounts and training programs (India’s rank: 28)
  • Leadership and rights: Equal rights, acceptance as executives, and percentage of women in decision-making positions (India’s rank: 28)
  • Pipeline for entrepreneurs: Women’s engagement in startups; percentage of the female population that know entrepreneurs, see business opportunities, and feel they have the skills to start a business (India’s rank: 30)
  • Potential entrepreneur leaders: Higher percentage of women who start businesses are college-educated and growth-oriented (India’s rank: 24)

In countries like India, the report noted, “there are unequal inheritance rights for women and work restrictions limiting their access to startup capital and collateral critical for business startup and growth.”

India’s red-hot startup ecosystem has over 3,100 startups, according to industry body Nasscom, and 800 new enterprises join the ranks annually. By 2020, India is likely to have around 11,500 startups, employing over 250,000 people.

Women on top

Of the 31 countries included in the ranking, India stands lowest in terms of acceptance of women as business executives. This is despite the fact that in 2013 India enacted a new law that made it mandatory for every listed company to have at least one woman on its board of directors.

Sweden has the most acceptance for women business executives, the Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard said. Canada, the UK and the US are the other countries where acceptance of women as business executives was the highest.

The chart below shows the percentage of women in leadership roles across 10 countries:


Image credit:  Rajarshi MITRA | Flickr
Via Quartz