Woman entrepreneur? You wanna go to Graceland

Long Island-based Ready Check Glo founder Celestina Pugliese.

Women run almost 9.5 million businesses in the United States, racking up annual revenues of $1.5 trillion and employing more than 8 million workers. So where’s the best spot for a budding female entrepreneur to launch today?

Consider Tennessee. Especially Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis.

That’s the take-away from just-out analysis by personal-finance website WalletHub and its 2016’s Best & Worst Metro Areas for Women-Owned Businesses.

WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas across 10 key metrics, including average revenue growth of women-owned businesses, the density of women businesses in any given market and general business friendliness.

Columbus and Milwaukee joined the Tennessee cities in rounding out the Top 5, with Rochester placing sixth. The New York City-Northern New Jersey area placed a distant 60th, with decent scores on women-oriented criteria, but a poor showing on general business friendliness. (But you’ve maybe heard that before.)

Colorado Springs has the highest percentage of women-owned businesses with paid employees, 22.96 percent, or two times greater than in Syracuse, the metro area with the lowest, at 13.20 percent.


Best Metro Areas for Women-Owned Businesses Worst Metro Areas for Women-Owned Businesses
1 Nashville, TN 91 Portland, OR
2 Chattanooga, TN 92 San Diego, CA
3 Columbus, OH 93 Scranton, PA
4 Memphis, TN 94 Provo, UT
5 Milwaukee, WI 95 North Port, FL
6 Rochester, NY 96 Pittsburgh, PA
7 Kansas City, MO 97 Columbia, SC
8 Spokane, WA 98 Greenville, SC
9 Greensboro, NC 99 Oxnard, CA
10 Honolulu, HI 100 San Jose, CA

For the full report and to see where your metro area ranks, click here.