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New Data on Why Fort Lauderdale is a Top Spot for Women-Owned Businesses

At, we’re all about learning what it takes to start and run successful businesses. And with 39% of all US businesses owned by women,2 we wanted to learn more about the factors that may help women entrepreneurs be more successful.

It may be obvious that the tech-driven landscape of Silicon Valley offers some of the greatest opportunity for women business owners. But it may surprise you to see exactly which metropolitan areas—both in Silicon Valley and beyond—offer the best mix of factors for women looking to launch their own businesses.

These are this year’s best US areas for women business owners.

The 10 best cities for women to start a business

  1. Greater Tampa Bay Area, FL (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater)
  2. Silicon Valley, CA (San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara)
  3. Seattle Metropolitan Area, WA (Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue)
  4. Greater Orlando, FL (Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford)
  5. Inland Empire, CA (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario)
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI (Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington)
  7. Bay Area, CA (San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward)
  8. Pittsburgh, PA
  9. St. Louis, MO-IL
  10. Miami Metropolitan Area, FL (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach)

What we found

Our research turned up several interesting outcomes. For example, some states contain multiple metro areas with widely different results.

Tennessee is on both ends of the spectrum, having one metro area (Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin) ranking in the top 20 overall and another (Memphis) in the bottom 10. This Tennessee divide may only serve to fuel a long-standing rivalry between the two Volunteer State regions.

Florida ranks on both the best and the worst lists for the number of start-ups. The Miami and Palm Bay areas sit only two and a half hours away from each other but are on the opposite sides of the start-up creation spectrum. The worst places for start-ups all reside in eastern states, except for Hawaii, which is one of the most expensive states to live in.

Here’s another standout result: out of the top five worst places for women-owned businesses, Utah showed up twice, with Ogden-Clearfield and Provo-Orem home to the fewest women entrepreneurs in the country. Utah’s low rate for women-owned businesses may be a result of the state’s stay-at-home-mom tradition.

The driving factors

We examined five key metrics to decide which cities provide the best environment for women entrepreneurs:

  • Percentage of women-owned businesses
  • Number of new businesses per 100,000 people
  • Women-to-men pay difference
  • Unemployment rate for women
  • Number of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) chapters

Read more by clicking here.

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