The Best and Worst Cities for Women Entrepreneurs

August 20, 2018, 8:25 PM UTC

San Francisco, Austin, and San Jose, Calif. are the top three cities for women business owners, according to a new study.

In fact, the West Coast, in general, is a good place for women to go into business for themselves, as six of the top 10 metro areas are there, financial product comparison website MagnifyMoney found in its survey that looked at the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

The worst places in America for woman entrepreneurs are Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, where fewer women work for themselves and where they typically earn less than their counterparts elsewhere. Women in these cities have a more difficult time starting businesses a finding support like mentoring and networking, MagnifyMoney.

To come up with its results, MagnifyMoney looked at both mean and median business income for self-employed women in each area. A wide range indicated a larger gap in potential earnings.

Another metric used in the study is the mean and median difference between earnings for self-employed women and earnings of those employed for a wage. On average, self-employed people earn less than those working for wages, but gaps that are larger than usual in a city are considered a barrier to entry for women entrepreneurs.

MagnifyMoney also looked at the percentage of women working for themselves and the percentage of women with incorporated businesses. The higher these rates, the easier it likely is to be self-employed and be successful over the long-term.

Lastly, the study looked at the rate of business ownership in women compared to men. Cities with a narrower gender gap were considered to be places where it was easier for women to go into business for themselves.

Overall, the study found that only 30% of all incorporated businesses in the 50 cities studied were led by women, highlighting that the country has a long way to go to reach gender parity in entrepreneurship.