Last year's election shed some light on women in the workforce. One area where women are grossly underrepresented is in entrepreneurship.
There are several lists out, detailing the top cities for female entrepreneurs. The finance website NerdWallet has its own list, while Forbes has a different list, calling into question some of the methodology used by NerdWallet -- for example, New York City didn't make the NerdWallet list.
What are some factors to consider when talking about the right climate for building women-owned businesses?
For one, Forbes considered how many women were issued SBA loans. NerdWallet looked at levels of education and the opportunity for women to be mentored by other women.
So, we looked into these lists and came up with our own FindLaw Top 5 List of Best Cities for Women Entrepreneurs. They are:
- Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area. The entire Bay Area not only boasts more than $1 billion in annual revenue generated by women-owned firms, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, it's also a world-famous hotbed for entrepreneurship. The culture in the Bay Area provides for constant ongoing education about startups, many opportunities for networking, and an overall culture that fosters startup growth.
- New York City. The Big Apple boasted more than $42 million in SBA-approved loans to women in 2011 and 2012. The number of women-owned businesses totaled 670,100 in 2012. It's a great place for anyone to do business by way of sheer population.
- Houston. Houston didn't make NerdWallet's list, but it made Forbes' list. Forbes writes that female-owned businesses in Houston receive more than $35 million in loans each year. That shows a huge initiative towards encouraging women to invest and start businesses.
- Denver. Colorado in general has a thriving startup economy. Venture capital, as a percentage of the state's overall GDP, is also high. According to Forbes, revenues at women-led firms were in excess of $15 million last year.
- Washington, D.C. From 1997 to 2012, the number of women-owned businesses in Washington, D.C., grew by 46%. Revenues from women-owned businesses surpassed $33 million. And, let's not discount the fact that Washington, D.C., boasts one of the most academic and educated populations in the country.
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