For the love of your business

Best Locations for Women Entrepreneurs to Start a Small Business

Starting Your Business / Unexpected Business Risks

NerdWallet reports that the S&P 1500 companies have more CEOs named John than female CEOs.

The company recently compiled an analysis of statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Small Business Administration related to female business success. Its conclusion: Seven of the best locations for women to start small businesses were in California and Colorado.

What Were the Measures Used to Evaluate Business Locations?

The analysis focused on three measures of success: business climate, economic health, and financing opportunities.

Business climate was evaluated using U.S. Census data for the following factors:

Average revenue for businesses owned by women;

  • Percentage of women-owned businesses with paid employees; and
  • Number of women-owned businesses per capita.

NerdWallet examined community economic health using the following data from the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Women’s median annual income;
  • Women’s median annual income relative to men; and
  • Unemployment rate.

Financing opportunity was the final factor evaluated, using SBA and census data for the following two metrics:

  • Number of SBA-guaranteed loans per capita; and
  • Average size of SBA-guaranteed loans.

What Conclusions Were Drawn?

Over two-thirds of the 10 locations judged best for entrepreneurial women were in the West. Four California communities made the top-10 list: (1) Santa Cruz-Watsonville, (2) San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, (3) Santa Rosa, and (4) San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward. Three Colorado communities were also top-tier: (1) Boulder, (2) Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, and (3) Fort Collins. The top 10 list was rounded out by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut; Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota and Wisconsin; and Portland-South Portland, Maine.


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