Starting a business and guiding it from fledgling startup to financial success is the American dream. While it was once a pursuit solely reserved for men, women have shattered the glass ceiling, and more and more female entrepreneurs are building and leading formidable companies.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has risen by 59% from 1997 to 2013. The organization reported that female entrepreneurs own and manage nearly 9 million businesses in the country, generating $1.3 trillion in total revenue between them, and that number is still growing exponentially.
But taking those first steps toward launching a business is daunting. While success is never certain, these cities will hedge the odds in your favor.
Looking to turn your business idea into a successful reality? Look no further than these ‘boom towns:’
1. Gainesville, FL
This old college town isn’t just an incubator for young talented students, but for fledgling businesses too. Women own and run over 30% of the businesses in the city.
College towns have a natural advantage for startups; the high number of graduates joining the job market every year allows employers to pick from a pool of incredibly talented and qualified hires.
The city has a history of supporting startups and encouraging new businesses to open their doors along the area’s Old South-inspired roads. For example, this site, created by the city, helps guide entrepreneurs through the process of starting a company, from registering their business to securing investments and finding employees.
This support structure has paid off for countless woman-owned businesses, with female-led enterprises earning an annual average of more than $130,000 in revenue.
2. Ocean City, NJ
With its sprawling, sandy beaches and busy boardwalk, you’d be forgiven for dismissing Ocean City as just another holiday town. But the increasing number of tourists visiting this seaside retreat have turned the city into a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs, with women-owned businesses thriving in the area.
The city has historically always been a hotbed for female entrepreneurs, with women investing in the area’s real estate and renting out properties to holiday-goers during Ocean City’s infancy. With the high success of female-led enterprises in the area and a supportive business climate, Ocean City’s spot on this list is well deserved.
Help resources: The National Association of Women Business Owners and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce provide resources to help women launch their own businesses in Ocean City.
3. Santa Fé, NM
America’s second oldest city isn’t going gray just yet. The bustling metropolis is home to a thriving economy that continues to grow every year.
While anyone can forge their fortune in the lofty city, it’s women who will benefit most from making the move. With more than 30% of businesses owned by women, Santa Fé has certainly earned its spot on this list.