Cities With the Most Female Entrepreneurs

30% of all start-ups in Chicago are founded by women, the highest among the cities of the world.

Entrepreneurs, people who start their own businesses, operate around the world. Generally, these entrepreneurial endeavors begin as small businesses that may or may not grow into larger enterprises with time. The vast majority of entrepreneurs are men. In some cities around the world, however, the chance that the entrepreneurs are women is higher. This article takes a closer look at the cities with the highest number of women entrepreneurs.

Women-Owned Businesses Around The World

The global average for female entrepreneurs is at 18%. This percentage means that for every 100 businesses, only 18 are owned by women. This low percentage is, in large part, due to the fact that networking opportunities, recognition, and funding are generally more difficult for women to obtain, which makes it more difficult for them to start their own business. On this list of 21 cities with the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs, roughly half (11 to be exact) rank at or above the global average.

Additionally, 7 of the cities on this list are located in the US, where at least 47% of the workforce is made up of women. Four of these US cities are in the top 4 positions. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of women-owned businesses in this country increased by 27.5%, adding approximately 1 million businesses to the economy here. Today, roughly 9.9 businesses in the US are women-owned.

Cities With the Highest Percentage Of Female Entrepreneurs


At the top is Chicago, which has a 30% rate of women-owned start-ups. This number makes Chicago the most likely place in the world for a woman to start a business. One of the reasons for such a high percentage of women in entrepreneurship here may be due to the resources available in this city. A number of nonprofit organizations are dedicated to mentoring women in business, holding networking conventions, and helping women secure business loans.


Following this city is Boston, Massachusetts, where 29% of all businesses are owned by women. In fact, the municipal government here runs a program called Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE-BOS). This program works to bring women from all entrepreneurial backgrounds together so that they may network and share information, skills, and technical assistance. Research shows that entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful if they have a support system in place. The government of Boston has recognized that need.

3.Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley in California takes 3rd place in terms of having the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs. In this city, 24% of all business are owned by women. Despite this significant percentage, women in Silicon Valley continue to be underrepresented in the technology industry, which makes up the vast majority of economic activity here. Only 7% of women-led entrepreneurships here receive venture capital funding, an important component for starting a new business. The fact that only 53% of the biggest technology companies in this area have a woman on the executive board (the national average is 84%) and that men earn 61% more than women in the same field (the national average is 48%) might explain why so many women in Silicon Valley are driven to start their own business.

The chart published below offers a look at the top 21 cities in the world with the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs.

Which Cities Across The World Have The Highest Number Of Female Entrepreneurs?

RankCityPercentage Of Start-Ups Founded By Women
3Silicon Valley24
4Los Angeles22
7Tel Aviv20
10Kuala Lumpur19
14New York City16
18San Paulo13

About the Author

Amber is a freelance writer, English as a foreign language teacher, and Spanish-English translator. She lives with her husband and 3 cats.


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