Top U.S. Cities Where Female Entrepreneurs Are Thriving / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Which cities are best for women looking to start their own business? The top 10 list is here—and it might surprise you!

While women-owned businesses are on the rise across the country, there’s still a lot of work to do in many parts of the U.S. to create the environment needed to produce successful female entrepreneurs. 

According to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, released by Womenable and American Express OPEN, women-owned businesses represent nearly a third of all businesses in the U.S., but employ only 6 percent of the workforce and contribute only 4 percent of overall business revenues.

GoodCall Data Graphics

Not all parts of the U.S. are experiencing the same growth in women-owned businesses, however, and some cities are better environments for women to thrive. In a recent report, data-science group GoodCall set out to determine which parts of the U.S. produce the best climate of success for women business owners.

The result is 2015’s Best Cities for Women Entrepreneurs report, which analyzed over400 cities on their friendliness to women business owners and ranked them accordingly.

The rankings were determined by looking at the following metrics for each city:

  • The percentage of women-owned businesses
  • The difference between female and male educational attainment (percentage of women versus percentage of men who have a bachelor’s degree or higher)
  • Year-over-year growth in gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Unemployment rates
  • The number of  other small business owners available for networking and support

Data for the report was aggregated from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Survey, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The highest ranking cities spanned the country from coast to coast, with the top 10 being comprised of:

With a surprisingly high number of small to mid-sized cities dominating the top of the list, it begs the question: What are these cities doing right?

“Dublin provides an environment for success,” said Dublin, OH Director of Economic Development Colleen Gilger. “We have a highly educated workforce and resident base, top-rated schools, extraordinary city services and community amenities – all very important to women seeking a quality place to live, work and grow a business.”

Many of these cities are also adopting business programs specifically designed for women:

“[We] started a program, the Maryland Women’s Business Center, in 2010 specifically to support women-owned businesses and entrepreneurial enterprises," says Laurie Boyer, Executive Director of Rockville Economic Development Inc.  "That program is now part of the SBA-supported national network of Women’s Business Centers, offering workshops, resources, and one-on-one business counseling to support the growth and expansion of women-owned businesses. We are also in the 12th year of our StartRight! Business Plan Competition which is open to businesses that are at least 51% women-owned in the State of Maryland, offering cash and in-kind prizes to our winners. Rockville, MD is home to a diverse pool of well-educated, motivated women who want to start and grow their own businesses, and we are pleased to offer a variety of business support tools to help them achieve their goals.”

Top U.S. Cities for Women Entrepreneurs : A Bird's Eye View

Top Cities for Women Entrepreneurs Map

For a full list of city rankings visit the 2015 Best Cities for Women Entrepreneur’s Report:

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