Photos: Ten best cities for female entrepreneurs -- and Denver's place on it
Last year, CardHub.com declared Denver to be the best city in which to start a small business.
Continue to count down the complete top ten, featuring photos and NerdWallet.com text. And click for more information about how the rankings were determined, as well as to see graphics and more.
Number 10: Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is a major business hub in the Northeast, and its presence on this list is fueled by high median yearly earnings for females and its generally well-educated population. Beantown also offers many professional resources to help businesswomen, such as The Boston Club, a community of female executives and professionals, and the Center for Women & Enterprise, a nonprofit institution to help women entrepreneurs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Number 9: San Jose, California
California's Silicon Valley has become well known as the site of a booming technology industry and San Jose has benefited from its presence as the largest city in the region. Women own nearly 31% of the city's businesses, and full-time female workers earn a yearly median salary of $52,000. Women entrepreneurs here can benefit from the Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship at San Jose State University, which serves to foster enterprise growth in the region.
As a hotbed for startups, Austin enjoys a strong presence of businesses and boasts a very low unemployment rate of 4.5%. The Women's Business Center at BiGAUSTIN supports women entrepreneurs with business coaching and more. Another organizational resource is Austin Women in Technology, a nonprofit network serving Austin's community of women entrepreneurs in the technology industry.
Number 7: Denver, Colorado
Denver is home to 11.5 businesses per 100 residents, and 30% of those companies are run by women. The city also presents many educational opportunities for businesswomen. The Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver educates and empowers aspiring entrepreneurs and even acts as a startup incubator to foster businesses. Nearby, the Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado Boulder (which offers our favorite evening MBA program for women) offers many opportunities for women like the Women's Council, the WILD Summit and the Women in Business club.
As one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the South, Atlanta holds a presence as a major business hub. One in three Atlanta businesses is owned by women, and the city is home to an educated workforce. One of the region's prominent businesswomen is Carol Tomé, CFO of Atlanta-based Home Depot. In addition to professional resources like Atlanta Women Entrepreneurs, highly regarded business schools at Emory University and Georgia Tech provide great career advancement opportunities for women.
Number 5: Portland, Oregon
Portland scores well as an economically healthy and educated city, and it boasts nearly 12 businesses per 100 residents to boot. Entrepreneurial women here are supported by organizations such as Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon (WEO) and Portland Female Executives (PDXfX).
Minneapolis has the lowest unemployment rate of the top 10 cities for women entrepreneurs, who own nearly a third of the city's businesses. The region is home to several organizations serving businesswomen, such as Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (WeMN), which hosts quarterly networking events, and Women Venture, a nonprofit that aids women-owned businesses through capital financing and consulting.
Number 3: Seattle, Washington
Seattle is one of the most educated cities in the U.S., with nearly 58% of its residents holding a bachelor's degree or higher. This correlates well with the city's high median salary for women and relatively low unemployment rate. Seattle has 12.5 businesses per 100 residents, which is one of the highest such figures of all cities. Local resources for entrepreneurial women include Women Business Owners and Women's Business Exchange, both of which are active networking committees that help connect women in business.
Women in San Francisco are active in the bustling entrepreneurial scene of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley -- 30% of the city's businesses is run by women. San Francisco also boasts the highest median year full-time female earnings of the 50 largest cities in the country at more than $60,000. Among nearby networking resources available to the large number of women entrepreneurs here is Professional BusinessWomen of California, which hosts a yearly conference in San Francisco; last year's event featured several prominent businesswomen, including Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook.
Number 1: Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital has the highest rate of women-owned businesses of the top 10 cities on this list. More than a third of the businesses in D.C. are owned by women, so new female entrepreneurs can find many peers and mentors. The city is also home to several organizations that serve as resources for women in business, such as the Washington, DC Women's Business Center, which provides training to women entrepreneurs to support their businesses, and the National Women's Business Council, an advisory council that serves as a voice for female entrepreneurs to the federal government.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Business archive circa June 2013: "Photos: Five best and worst cities to work for a small business in -- and which list Denver tops."
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