Score one for the ladies, y'all. Although the business world has long been seen as a boys' club, women are increasingly moving into executive roles historically held by men — and we've got the research to prove it. Using data from a recent Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking report, the smarty pants over at Expert Market created a map of the 20 best cities for women entrepreneurs. While startups in the past were sprung forth nearly entirely from places like Silicon Valley and Boston, the span of locations today includes cities from all over the globe — making it excellent news pretty much no matter where you live.
"The trend for female entrepreneurs is significantly up," the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking report found, noting that the number of new businesses formed by women in the last three years has risen as sharply as 80 percent. Being credited for this boom in fempreneurism is the rise of none other than crowdfunding. Now you know that every single time you can't resist donating your hard-earned dollars to one of those female-fronted GoFundMe startups circulating on Facebook, your money is basically going to the greater good. Can I get a fist bump for feminism?
Based on the Global Startup findings, Expert Market used the data to create their map of the 20 top cities for female-launched startups — that is, the 20 cities were women are proving that girls do, indeed, run the world (according to me, at least). I'm not saying you should pack your bags and move; if you do relocate, though, it wouldn't be the worst idea to head for one of these places enjoying the "democratisation" of the business world. Let's check out the top five here; scroll down to see the full map with all 20 cities.
The amount of startups founded by females in Montreal is 22 percent, coming in at two percent above the North American average and five percent above the European average. Other fun facts about this lively city: It's the second largest in Canada, it's known as the city of festivals for the 100-plus special events it puts on throughout the year (Just for Laughs Festival? Yes, please!), and the cobbled stress of Old Montreal will literally make you swoon.
4. Los Angeles
Like Montreal, Los Angeles weighs in with 22 percent of startups formed by women. And, here's the thing, the tech industry in Los Angeles needs us, ladies. According to Code.org, computing jobs in the area will more than double over the next five years, ballooning to an impressive 1.4 million. In 2008, a Harvard Business Review study found that roughly 50 percent of women in science, engineering, and technology bail over time because of hostility in the workplace — so now's the time to turn that statistic around.
3. San Francisco
Considering Silicon Valley is centered on San Francisco, it doesn't exactly come as a surprise San Fran landed on the list. However, it is pleasantly surprising that the percentage of female-founded startups is on the rise, currently clocking in at 24 percent. If that wasn't enough to sway you toward the hometown of the Golden Gate Bridge, take a moment to consider that some of its other hallmarks are Ghirardelli chocolate and bread. Deliciously carb-loaded sourdough bread. Yep, my bags are packed.
Boston goes hand and hand with San Francisco in that they have both long been strong footholds for venture capitalism. The fact that Boston's fempreneurial percentage has spiked to 29 percent in the past few years is a fun new development, though. Given that the city boasts close proximity to New York City (also on the list, just further down), is culturally diverse, and is rife with museums and other attractions, it's no wonder more women than ever are moving to Boston to grow their companies.
Chi-town FTW! With 30 percent of startups in this city founded by women, Chicago tops the list as the best city for female entrepreneurs. Who knew? With nearly three million people, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and its third largest metropolitan area, too. Undoubtedly, it's living up to its classification as an Alpha World City for its economic and cultural influence throughout the globe.
Here's the full map. Now go get 'em!