ShareFile recently issued its Businesswomen Power City Index, a list of the 20 U.S. cities that are best for women to start a business. The company ranked cities based on their suitability for women entrepreneurs by looking at the percentage of women-owned businesses, the number of executive roles held by women, the cost of living in each area, and the wage gap between men and women.
The big winner: Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore took the top position in ShareFile’s list of 20 best cities for women to start a business, with the highest women’s buying power score and the 10th highest percentage of women-owned businesses. It was also in the top 10 for the number of women executives, and ranked 26th in earnings when compared to men, with a wage gap of 18.2 percent.
“With a smaller population than cities close by, and so many unique communities and groups here in Baltimore, networking is super easy, and word-of-mouth referrals are often the bread and butter of small business,” said Heather Garner, owner of Baltimore’s Garnering Change Psychotherapy.
“We congratulate Baltimore for being at the top of the list,” said Catherine Harrell, vice president of marketing at Sharefile. “It’s a great city for women to not only start a business but to get the most for their money.”
The runner-up: Tampa, Florida
With 22.6 percent of businesses owned by women, 31.1 percent of women business executives, a 13.1 percent wage gap between women and men, and a 96.7 percent women’s buying power index, Tampa took the second spot in ShareFile’s top 20 list of best cities for women to start a business.
“We have amazing universities that incubate the best and brightest talent,” said Janel Laravie, Founder and CEO of Chacka Marketing. “The entrepreneurs in this community have been, and continue to be, selfless in sharing their experiences. Every entrepreneur I’ve met here is dedicated to building up others and ultimately contributing to the growth of the city.”
Other cities that made the top 10
Washington, D.C., took position #3, with a growing number of women in higher positions of power in the area and 24 percent of businesses being owned by women. “D.C. is really welcoming to startups in general; it was recently voted one of the best places to start a tech business,” said Roshini Agarwal, Co-founder of The Vacation Hunt.
Las Vegas came in at #4, followed by Orlando, Florida; Sacramento, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Hartford, Connecticut; Miami, Florida; and Providence, Rhode Island.
“It is our hope that our index will give businesswomen a good idea of where they can expect to have the best chance of success,” Harrell said.
For more information about the top 10 best cities for women to start a business, visit ShareFile’s blog post.