Starting a new business is always tough, but it poses special difficulty to female entrepreneurs, who face more adversity than their male counterparts. Finance site Nerdwallet has highlighted some of the best cities for women who own, or want to own, a business. Most of the cities are on the west coast—proving, unquestionably, that it really is the best coast.
The study looked into several factors: financing opportunities, health of the local economy, and overall business climate. Nerdwallet collected data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Small Business Administration for 174 metro areas around the country.
Topping the list as the very best city for female entrepreneurs is Boulder, Colorado, which has 4.42 women-owned businesses per every 100 residents and 41.17 SBA-guaranteed loans per 100,000 residents. In second place is Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, where the median annual income for women is $57,377.
Most of the other cities on the list are located either in Colorado or California. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO clocks in with 3.22 women-owned businesses per every 100 people. Even the last inclusion on the list, Fort Collins, CO, has 27.77 SBA-guaranteed loans for every 100,000 residents. The study also lists statistics for the average revenue for a woman-owned business, the unemployment rate for that area, and the amount of an average SBA-guaranteed loan.
An infographic created to accompany the statistics notes that there are more CEOs named John than there are female CEOs at the S&P 1500 companies.
Some organizations, like American Underground, have a specific mission to recruit more female CEOs. They hope to become the “most diverse startup incubator by the end of 2016.” American Underground, a platform that helps startups get going, wants firms led by women and other minorities to make up over half of the startups it assists. So far, things are going smoothly: the number of women in American Underground has bumped up from 6% to 23% since 2013.
Because of initiatives like American Underground’s, which include things like nursing rooms in their locations, mentoring, and more access to fundraising opportunities, women have more prospects in the business world than they have before—and American Underground may soon reach their ambitious goal.