Belfast Telegraph

Belfast overtakes Dublin in female entrepreneur index

by Samantha McCaughren

BELFAST has improved its ranking by eight places as a city for female entrepreneurs, according to an international summit held in Singapore.

The 2019 Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network, hosted by tech giant Dell, revealed that Belfast sits in 28th position out of 50 global cities, and ahead of Dublin when it comes to supporting female-led businesses. It also scored high on paternity policy issues, according to results released at the summit where three NI businesswomen were in attendance.

They were Edel Doherty, founder of Belfast-based Beyond Business Travel, which opened a Dublin office recently, and Roisin Molloy and Julie Brien, founders of medical devices firm Trimedika, also based in Belfast. The results showed that Belfast scored well for its paid paternity leave and the number of women at legislature level. However, it fell down due to "critically low investment in female-led businesses, and low representation on venture capital firms".

The index, which ranked Dublin at number 30, serves as a diagnostic tool to advise policy-makers on how to better support women in business.

While Belfast outperformed Dublin, the Irish capital still improved its ranking as a city for women entrepreneurs.

It held the 34th place in 2017 when Belfast was positioned at 36.

According to the research, 39% of Dublin start-ups are female-owned and 40% of company board members are women.

"Dublin ranked highly due to policies including the collection of data around gender use of technology, meaning the government is better placed to ensure equal access," added the researchers.

However, the city fell down on some policy issues such as Ireland's limited paternity leave.

The San Francisco Bay Area beat New York to the number one spot this year, mainly because the Bay Area is one of the best places for women to gain access to capital, while Mexico City had the greatest improvement ranking, moving from 45th in 2017 to 29th place this year.

Belfast Telegraph