Belfast vs Dublin: North scores higher for female startups

Dublin has improved its ranking among the best places for women entrepreneurs in international research by tech giant Dell, but lags behind Belfast.

In the 2019 Women Entrepreneur Cities report, Dublin moved up to 30th place, from 34th in the previous survey in 2017.

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According to the research, 39pc of Dublin startup companies are female-owned and 40pc of company boards have a female member.

However, the capital remains in the bottom half of the rankings of 50 global cities. It fell down on some policy issues, such as Ireland’s limited paternity leave, with current policy “hindering economic participation”.

The amount of startup accelerators in the city – now numbering 29 – is seen as helping to support Dublin’s female entrepreneurs with networking, training and access to capital.

“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.

The results were released at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network global summit in Singapore, which brings together 200 entrepreneurs from all over the world. Dublin ranks ahead of cities such as Milan, Tokyo and Miami but is two places behind Belfast, which ranked 28th. Belfast scored well for 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 VC firms”.

This year, four women are attending the summit from Ireland. Edel Doherty, founder of Beyond Business Travel, is a first-time attendee.

Also attending are the founders of Belfast-based medical devices firm Trimedika, and Kate Hyde, the founder of tech company Glencove.

The San Francisco Bay Area outranked New York for the number-one spot this year, mainly because it is one of the best places for women to gain access to capital.

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