15 Cities With the Most Successful Female Entrepreneurs

Young female entrepreneur with smartphone smiling
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Volusion.

Nationwide, there are nearly 6 million female entrepreneurs who account for 7.7% of the female workforce, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. For many of these women, entrepreneurship offers more flexibility than traditional jobs.

But starting a business is also risky. New business owners often take a pay cut, as it can take years for new businesses to turn a profit. The median annual income for full-time female entrepreneurs is $40,000, slightly lower than the median annual income among all full-time female workers of $43,000.

Compared to men, women earn less across all worker classes. However, the gender wage gap among full-time entrepreneurs — a full $15,000 per year difference — is the largest.

Research by the JPMorgan Chase Institute shows that female-owned small businesses tend to be smaller and generate less revenue than male-owned small businesses. One reason is that women-owned startups are underrepresented among firms that receive external financing, according to the JP Morgan Chase report.

However, the median income for full-time female entrepreneurs varies widely across cities and states. To find the locations with the most successful female entrepreneurs, researchers at Volusion used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis to calculate a comparable metric of purchasing power across locations.

We adjusted median incomes for full-time female entrepreneurs up or down based on each location’s relative cost of living. In highly expensive cities, like San Francisco, cost-of-living adjusted incomes are lower than actuals; whereas, in more affordable cities, such as Cincinnati, cost-of-living adjusted incomes are higher than actuals.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Following are the large metropolitan areas with the highest-paid female entrepreneurs.

15. San Jose, California

The skyline of San Jose, which has a lower median rent than median mortgage payment
stellamc / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $44,309
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $58,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $68,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 8.2%

14. Cincinnati

Cincinnati
Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $44,444
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $40,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $44,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 4.9%

13. Seattle

Seattle, Washington
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $44,723
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $55,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 9.4%

12. Las Vegas

Las Vegas neighborhood with desert hills beyond.
Christopher Boswell / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $44,923
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $43,800
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $40,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 8.1%

11. Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $45,135
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $45,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $48,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 5.3%

10. Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $47,297
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $56,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $63,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 7.6%

9. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $47,319
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $45,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $37,600
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 9.2%

8. Hartford, Connecticut

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $49,116
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $56,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 6.6%

7. Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon waterfront
Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $49,164
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $50,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 10.6%

6. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $49,751
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $49,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 9.2%

5. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $51,975
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $47,400
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 7.8%

4. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee
Steven Frame / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $54,885
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $40,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 4.4%

3. Louisville, Kentucky

A historic district of Louisville, Kentucky
Philip Rozenski / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $55,006
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $41,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 5.0%

2. Birmingham, Alabama

Skyline of Birmingham at Railroad Park in Birmingham, Ala.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $56,351
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $50,040
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $42,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 5.2%

1. Denver

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (adjusted): $56,444
  • Median income for full-time female entrepreneurs (actual): $60,000
  • Median income for all full-time female workers (actual): $50,000
  • Percentage of female workers that are entrepreneurs: 8.8%

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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