As more women trailblaze into what were once considered traditionally male careers like business and leadership, more cities are becoming global hotspots for female entrepreneurs. But no two cities are created equally; some have an ideal environment that female business women may want to consider for optimal success and networking. One list that highlighted some of those cities is the Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index.
As a New York-based entrepreneur and woman, it certainly wasn’t easy building my own business. But I often wonder how much more difficult it could have been elsewhere. And as someone who has been there, I try to do what I can do advocate for young women looking for a foothold. One way to do so is by highlighting regions with politics and environments that help women succeed.
Here’s a close look at the 5 best cities for female entrepreneurs:
New York City:
I may be biased when it comes to New York, but just so you know that it’s more than an anecdote, the Big Apple and self-proclaimed “Capital of the World” is touted as the best city in the world for female entrepreneurs on Dell’s list. The city also ranked first in the Index’s top five entrepreneurial cities for culture, capital, talent, and market.
Thanks to the abundance of cultures, resources, and myriad of different businesses and organizations to work with, New York is definitely the place to be. City government has also made a point to support women-run businesses and ideas. New York’s Department of Small Business Services, for example, recently announced the launch of the Contract Financing Loan Fund, which gives minority and women-owned businesses to apply for low-interest financing loans of up to half a million dollars. Interest rates on the loan will be capped at 3%, which will give all kinds of women the opportunity to expand or embark on new projects.
When most people think of startups, their minds spring immediately to Silicon Valley—and not without reason! Like New York, the Bay Area on the West Coast also placed in the top five for capital, market, and talent. The overall area includes various cities like San Francisco, Napa, and Santa Clara. The area also includes Silicon Valley, which encompasses an area filled with all kinds of startups and widely successful technical companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook, which make it ideal for getting new ideas off the ground.
Despite fears of how changes like Brexit will affect business in the future for the United Kingdom, London is still an international city and the largest metropolitan area throughout all of the United Kingdom. It’s also one of the most important financial areas in both Europe and the world.
It competes with cities in the United States in that 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies have offices inside of London. That makes it easier to find funding and organizations to collaborate with for entrepreneurial purposes.
This Swedish city is a hotbed of nascent potential. It’s one of the richest regions in the European Union and also one of the fastest growing cities. It also ranks as number one on Dell’s Women Entrepreneurial Cities Index as the best city for tech.
Sweden is also listed among the top five in Forbes’ “The 10 Best Countries for Women” list from 2012. Other aspects of Stockholm that make it promising for curious female entrepreneurs looking outside of the United States? It’s home to various organizations, including the Professional Women’s Network, a federation of over 24 professional networks that promote gender equality. This makes the city, and country an ideal place for women who prefer a welcoming environment.
Though most of the best cities on the Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index are dominated by US- and Europe-based locations, Singapore is definitely a location to consider for the future of women in entrepreneurship. The Southeast Asian city ranks third on Dell’s best cities for tech and fifth in the top five cities for culture.
Recent developments made in the city include the country’s push to create a multi-million dollar fund to help innovative companies in an effort to boost future economic growth, according to Bloomberg. Several websites have also highlighted Singapore as an ideal location in Asia for women’s access to capital and equal rights. Moreover, it’s currently touted as the best places in Asia for women owned businesses to thrive.
This city seems to be ideal for anyone who constantly does business in Southeast Asia, or is considering overseas collaborations that don’t always include Europe or the United States.
It’s great to see so many cities global embracing and supporting female entrepreneurs. Just remember: success isn’t always a physical state as much as a state of mind. While cities like these will give you a boost, your own drive can make a world of difference, too.