The top 12 cities for female entrepreneurs
A city can’t confine or define your entrepreneurial spirit, but some places are simply more conducive to your business-minded lifestyle. That’s why we’ve put together a list that covers a dozen of the world’s best destinations for women who want to see their ideas become realities. To further inspire your move, we’ve also included a handful of bios of the powerful women who call these cities home. Perhaps one day your name will be added to the list!
Chicago is the top city for female entrepreneurs, according to the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking. That’s because the city’s female population started a whopping 30 percent of the city’s new start-ups. One such leader was Nicole Yeary. She founded Ms Tech, a Chicago-based organization that fosters and creates opportunities for women in tech.
Boston barely missed Chicago, with women founding 29 percent of the city’s freshest startups. Boston’s mayor hopes that this is a sign of the city’s bright future in technology, considering the city’s closeness to such revered institutions as MIT. It also has a wealth of female leadership from women like Laurette Bennhold-Samaan, the COO of Aperian Global. She played an integral role in the rise of the global company for which she works, thanks to a combination of her entrepreneurial spirit and an international upbringing in Egypt and Nigeria.
3. Silicon Valley
It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley is a great place for startups, and 24 percent of this year’s new additions came from female founders. You’ll find a slew of female leaders in this area, including Jody Vandergriff, whose cloud digital asset management startup was acquired by Shutterstock.
4. Los Angeles
Down the road from Silicon Valley is another startup haven: Los Angeles. Investments in startups rose to $2 billion between 2013 and 2014, which has certainly helped the 22 percent of startup founders who happen to be female.
It’s time to leave the confines of the U.S. if we want to find the cities best for female entrepreneurs. Montreal ties Los Angeles with women starting 22 percent of its startups, according to the 2015 report.
We’ve crossed the border, and now we cross the pond to the city on the Seine. Paris buzzes with life, and its startup scene is no different. Its female-founded startups make up 21 percent of the city’s new ones this year, and many forecasts show that it’ll only get bigger from here.
7. Tel Aviv
The entrepreneurial spirit among Israeli women has been making headlines since 2013. Since then, the scene has only gotten livelier – Tel Aviv was also named the second-best on the list of the world’s best startup ecosystems – with 20 percent of the city’s startups pushing forward with women at the helm.
Back in North America, women are also thriving in Toronto, where they started 19 percent of the city’s startups in 2015. Toronto always makes a splash in terms of its inspiring city vibes. A diverse population pushes the entrepreneurial scene forward in a way that’s constantly new and exciting.
A long plane ride away is the city at the No. 9 spot on the list, Singapore. This city has plenty of money for entrepreneurs to work with, as well as a highly educated working population. This has translated into a booming startup scene, with women behind 19 percent of them. One inspirational female founder is Yenn Wong, who opened her own boutique hotel, JIA, which is now in high demand.
10. Kuala Lumpur
As in Singapore, 19 percent of the last year’s worth of startups come from female founders. The country’s government has worked hard to bolster the national economy and knows that technology will play a big part in that boost, which means Kuala Lumpur is a great place for new businesses to base themselves.
You were probably wondering when London would make an appearance on this list. Overall, it’s the seventh on the list of the most influential world startup hubs, though women make up 18 percent of the city’s startup leaders. It has an ideal location – just an easy flight over the pond to the U.S. or an easy flight east to Asia – and plenty of creatives and capital.
Finally, a city you probably didn’t expect to see: Moscow. Here, women built 18 percent of the city’s new startups, which falls in line with a new government initiative meant to stoke business endeavors in Russia.