Despite glass ceilings and the rampant sexism that had denied women funding and respect, more women than ever are starting their own businesses across the nation — and country. These women now lead over 13 million companies in the United States, growing at a rate that has been more than doubling that of all businesses, and those firms contribute to the local economy and national GDP. However, not all locations are as hospitable to new companies, especially those owned by women, as others. The following metropolitans have earned the right to call themselves friendly to women-owned businesses.
According to an American Express report, Tampa Bay (and the greater Tampa-St. Petersburg area) can boast not just about job growth over the last five years but about an increase in businesses owned by women. It’s one of several metropolitans in Florida that has seen growth, in part, thanks to technology growth. Growing companies and new jobs have kept more than one Tampa moving company busy as talented workers relocate to the area.
One state further north is Atlanta, a bustling city that is home to 19 women-owned companies from the Inc. 5000 list. These companies range across industries such as healthcare to food and beverages. It’s not just the number of companies that have grown, either. Individual companies such as Sifted, a catering company, have seen as much as 2,099 percent growth in just the three years between 2015 and 2018.
St. Louis, MO
While many people might overlook this midwestern metropolitan when it comes to women-friendly companies, that would be a mistake. In fact, almost 1/3 of all businesses in the area are owned by women, which puts it ahead of all other metropolitan areas in the country on one list from October 2019 by Business.org. Seek Capital has also given the nod to St. Louis, noting that women own 45.2 % of startups, and the city has an active Professional Women’s Alliance.
It’s no surprise that Austin, which is known as a haven for startups, would be friendly to businesses owned by women. This Texas city is among the top ten cities to see growth in the number of firms, jobs, and revenue in 2019. With 22 companies led by women from the Inc. 5000 list, Austin beats Atlanta in at least one metric. Seek Capital expands the metro area to include Round Rock in a similar report which names the area number two in the country for women-owned startups.
The nation’s Capital is one of several in which businesses owned by women contribute the most employment opportunities. In fact, it ties with Raleigh, NC, for ninth place on the Metropolitan Area Employment Vitality Rankings list by American Express. This is impressive when you consider that Washington, DC, is also home to more than its fair share of government contractors, many of which are not led by women. But with 72 Inc. 5000 companies with women leaders, the city beats out all of the cities combined on this list in sheer numbers.
New York City
The metropolitan area that includes NYC, Newark, and Jersey City has nearly 10,804 women-owned startups, employing almost 50,000 people and raking in millions of dollars. This has earned the cities a place on multiple similar lists, including the Inc. 5000 list, which names 43 women-owned firms in the area. This list includes Thinx, a company known for making absorbent period panties.
Fortunately, many technology hubs and startup havens have become welcoming for women, their ingenuity, and their businesses.