According to a study conducted by Dell, the United States is now the best country for female entrepreneurs. All 31 countries that participated in the study were evaluated in five categories: business environments, access to resources, leadership and rights, pipeline for female entrepreneurship, and potential for high-growth women-owned business. Although the U.S. gained the number one spot, the U.S. only scored a 71 out of the 100 available points.
The study indicated that particular industries are harder for women to gain a foothold in, but that does not mean it is impossible for women to be successful in those areas. For example, although construction is for the most part a male-dominated industry, businesswoman Jean Bjork has found great success with her construction company. In 1998, Jean Bjork and her husband founded Bjork Construction, agreeing she would be president of the company. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she has had to work harder and smarter, but is proud to have been able to make a name for herself and her company.
The data in the report presents a pressing issue: what can be done to support female entrepreneurs like Jean? The study also highlights areas where countries could make changes in order to increase the likelihood of success for women entrepreneurs. In the U.S., female business owners can compete for contracts set aside by companies and the government for women-owned businesses. Some lenders have special loans for women-owned businesses. These can be found by doing a search for lenders in your area and it never hurts to ask a banker you have a personal relationship with. If you’re a female business owner in the U.S. and you’d like to learn about growing your business, visit the SBA for more information.
Photo Credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg, Flickr