London rises as a startup hub but is still lagging behind for female founders

The UK is bossing it globally in terms of entrepreneurs launching startups. However, it’s still got much progress to do for improving its diversity

London rises as a startup hub but is still lagging behind for female founders

The UK is a hotbed for startups. The home to unicorns like Deliveroo, Brewdog and BenevolentAI has showcased the nation’s ability in producing potent projects. Given that, it’s perhaps unsurprising Blighty has maintained its third position in the 2019 Startup Genome report just after Silicon Valley and New York as a global startup ecosystem with the help of the Big Smoke. 

Taking the bronze, London’s third place on the rundown of the top 30 global ecosystems for startups has come ahead of Beijing and Boston, which round off the top five. In fact it’s reaching greater heights in the foodtech and agtech sectors and is second after Silicon Valley. In the cleantech sector, London ranked fourth. The report looked at factors such as access to funding, talent, connectedness, infrastructure, performance and market reach among others to determine the positioning. 

Given the UK has already attracted £5bn worth investment in 2019, it doesn’t take an expert to see that London-based startups have many advantages. But while the city is sealing its place on a global level with more entrepreneurs launching innovative businesses, it’s shockingly lagging behind as far as female founders are concerned. 

Indeed, although one would expect a diverse city like London to be swarmed with more equality, the report says otherwise. In fact, in the list of countries with most female founders, London ranks between 25-27 with only 15% of female entrepreneurs. 

Having said that, London’s rank is seemingly low in the ranking for female founders, even the top startup ecosystem Silicon Valley has only 16% of its entrepreneurs as women, which is very in keeping with the bro culture the area is known for. The American state of Chicago leads the list in female entrepreneurship with 25% followed by New York City and Kuala Lumpur, both with 22-24%. 

Looking at these figures and the ubiquity of sexism against female founders, it’s the need of the hour for London to encourage more women and make VC investment more conducive to them because diversity undoubtedly is the only way to reach greater success. 

Varsha Saraogi
Varsha Saraogi

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