Which Are the Best U.S. Cities for Women to Start a Business?

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If you’re a woman who’s looking to start a business, then Baltimore, MD is the place to be, according to secure file-sharing and collaboration experts ShareFile.

Data was taken from four main sources, including the U.S. Census 2014 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, Sperling’s Best Places, Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and the 2017 Kauffman index.

Cities were then ranked by four key factors: the wages of women as a percentage of the wages of men for the area, the percentage of company executives who are women, the cost of living and the percentage of women-owned businesses.

Baltimore had the highest combination of all factors, with the highest women’s buying power score and the 10th highest percentage of women-owned businesses (23.3 percent). Baltimore was also in the top ten for number of women executives (31.3 percent) and ranked 26th for earnings when compared to men, with a wage gap of 18.2 percent.

The top 10 best cities for women to start a business are:

  1. Baltimore, MD
  2. Tampa, FL
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Las Vegas, NV
  5. Orlando, FL
  6. Sacramento, CA
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Hartford, CT
  9. Miami, FL
  10. Providence, RI



Catherine Harrell, vice president of marketing at ShareFile, commented on the findings, “We are excited to share the best cities in the U.S. for Women Entrepreneurs, and we congratulate Baltimore for being at the top of the list. It’s a great city for women to not only start a business but to get the most for their money.

“Organizations like the award-winning National Association of Women Business Owners have a base in Baltimore, and have clearly made an impact on creating strong and innovative change in business culture for women—not just for the city, but also across the country.

“Figures show that the number of women owning businesses is increasing year over year, with a quarter of all businesses represented in our top 10 cities owned by women. It is our hope that our index will give businesswomen a good idea of where they can expect to have the best chances of success.”

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Online editor for Hers magazine.

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