India fares poorly in women entrepreneurship: Report

New Delhi: When it comes to opportunities for women to start entrepreneurial initiatives, India is placed in the "bottom three" among 31 countries as lack of equal rights hinder their opportunities, says a report.

United States, Canada and Australia were named best countries for women entrepreneurs, while India was ranked among the bottom three, according to the Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard released at Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network summit in Berlin.

The 2015 scorecard that evaluates 31 countries, ranked India at the 29th position, followed by Pakistan (30th) and Bangladesh (31st). The United States topped the list due to predominantly favourable business environment and women's job mobility in the private sector registering an overall score 71 per cent.

Sweden and the UK made to the top five positions with 68 per cent and 65 per cent, respectively. In India only 4 per cent of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are women, while a mere 9.5 per cent of board members belong to the fairer sex and in case of senior management, the figure stood at around 15 per cent.

"In India, few women see opportunities or have the skills and are hindered by lack of equal rights, access to education and the Internet," the report noted. The report said there is still a wide disparity among countries when it comes to access to fundamental resources such as education, internet, bank accounts and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) training programs.

"More than 70 per cent of the 31 countries in the study score below 50 percent demonstrating a significant growth gap between female and male-owned businesses worldwide," the report said.

Interestingly, only four countries, China, Brazil, Malaysia, Nigeria, report women holding 5 per cent of the CEO positions of the largest publicly-traded companies, while in just three countries, Poland, Jamaica and Russia, women make up 35 per cent or more of senior management.

"The success of entrepreneurs and small businesses is critical for a thriving global economy, and at Dell we believe women entrepreneurs must play a much more prominent role in business and leadership in the future," Karen Quintos, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Dell said.

The 2015 Scorecard evaluates 31 countries across five key categories: relative business environments, access to resources, leadership and rights, pipeline for female entrepreneurship and potential for high-growth women-owned businesses.

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