From coast to coast, studies suggest which metro areas are more friendly to female-headed startups.
business owner hanging open sign
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Have you ever wondered how to turn your dreams of owning your own business into a reality? We can help. Each week, as part of our Self Made series, we showcase female entrepreneurs—as well as their quality, handmade goods—and share their best advice related to starting, maintaining, and growing your own business.

Starting a business is never easy, but in some cities, it's even harder if you're a woman. According to research from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), of the over 30 million businesses in the United States, only 11.6 million firms are owned by women. "Beyond the typical challenges that any person faces when launching a new venture such as defining your strategy, finding the right team members, and building your customer audiences, I have found that as a woman entrepreneur and mother of twins, finding a balance between motherhood and my career has been an added challenge," explains Nana Quagraine, founder of contemporary African design and home décor retailer 54kibo.

Fortunately, there are some places in America where statistics suggest it might be easier for women to start a business—and some might surprise you. From east and west coast metropolises to the capital of Colorado, we're sharing five U.S. cities that are female business-owner-friendly.

New York, New York

Good news: The city so nice they had to name it twice is an excellent place for women to start a business. According to a recent survey conducted by Small Business Trends, over 95,730 entrepreneurs in the Big Apple are female, a fact that doesn't seem to surprise Quagraine one bit. "New York City is a hub for many, including interior designers, who are an important and meaningful part of our business, and a great place to connect with like-minded individuals," she says.

Denver, Colorado

Believe it or not, research suggests that there may be no better place in the U.S. for women to launch a company than Denver, Colorado. According to 2019 survey data from, 29-percent of all businesses in the greater Denver metro area are run by women—the largest percentage of any city in the country. Of course, the gorgeous scenery and fresh mountain air doesn't hurt either.

Miami, Florida

If you're interested in opening a business in a tropical location, look no further than Miami, Florida. Per a recent survey conducted by research firm, there are roughly 36,925 women entrepreneurs in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach metro area, which constitutes 28-percent of all businesses currently active in The Magic City.

Portland, Oregon

If the dreamy landscapes of the Pacific Northwest are more of your scene, consider heading to Portland, Oregon, to start a business. According to survey data from, a whopping 28-percent of entrepreneurs in the Portland area are women, earning them the title of the fourth most female-friendly city in the country.

Los Angeles, California

Sunny SoCal lovers, rejoice: Los Angeles made the list of best cities for women to start a business. With women comprising 26-percent of all business owners in the greater Los Angeles area, the city of angels is home to more than 63,850 women entrepreneurs. "From fashion and beauty, to art, to interiors, Los Angeles provides a wonderful platform for design-focused companies led by women to come together to create and collaborate through events, speaking engagements, and summits," says interior designer Haley Weidenbaum, founder of Everhem.


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