What better place to start a business than in your hometown? Or so architect and entrepreneur Lihi Gerstner thought, and since her hometown happened to be Tel Aviv, she was right.
On opening her first hotel there, she told From the Grapevine, “It’s one of the most pluralistic cities in the world. It’s a place where you are judged the least on your socio-economic status, where you come from or on your gender and orientation.”
Gerstner is not the only one to benefit from the opportunities Tel Aviv has to offer, particularly to women. In a new report unveiled last week at the Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit in Singapore, the city was named one of the best worldwide for female entrepreneurs.
Every two years, 50 cities are ranked based on five characteristics: access to capital, technology, talent, culture, and markets. Amsterdam, Pittsburgh, and Toronto also made the list with San Francisco and Silicon Valley at the top. Mexico City proved to be the most improved, going from a ranking of 45 in 2017 to No. 29 this year.
Females Changing the World
Wired Magazine named Inna Braverman, who based her start-up Eco Wave Power in Tel Aviv back in 2011, on its list of “Females Changing the World.”
She told us, “Being an entrepreneur is difficult. Being a female entrepreneur adds an additional layer of difficulty to the equation. However, a supportive environment is like wind under our wings. When we feel supported, we feel that we can achieve anything – regardless of whether we are a man or a woman.”
Braverman is sure that her substantial success could not have happened anywhere else. “I truly believe that Israel plays a significant role in my personal journey, confidence and achievements,” she said.
Sivan Ya’ari, another female entrepreneur who has made it in Tel Aviv with her non-profit Innovation: Africa, reports a great support system in the city. “Tel Aviv has proven to be a hub for creativity and innovation which helps us continually improve and reinforce our commitment to being efficient and reliable in bringing solar, water and agricultural technologies to African villages,” she explained.
“I couldn’t think of another city where our engineers could be able to brainstorm with other motivated change-makers in the fields of social impact and international development to directly transform the lives of the people we reach.”
The inaugural Forbes Under 30 Global Women’s Summit, an international gathering of top young talent, brought women from 39 countries to Tel Aviv earlier this year, and in the meantime, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg plans to visit the city in August this year to launch Facebook’s new offices.
Sheryl is well-known and loved for her 2013 book Lean In, a manifesto for women in the workplace. The offices, called “Playground,” will be a space offering courses and house start-ups as well as developers and business working on newer technology.