- A new GOBankingRates study identified the best and worst cities for working moms, specifically those who want to run a business.
- For moms, the top places to start a business are located in the South, with Florida claiming the No. 1 (Miami) and No. 4 (Tampa) spots.
- Experts recommend these tips for moms who want to start a business.
There’s no denying that the growth in the number of female entrepreneurs has been impressive. The number of U.S. businesses owned by women has increased 114 percent over the past 20 years, and women are starting 849 new businesses per day, on average, according to a 2017 report commissioned by American Express OPEN.
What’s more impressive is that many female entrepreneurs are raising families while running their businesses. Juggling those responsibilities can be challenging for entrepreneurs who are moms, so GOBankingRates wanted to find out whether working moms have a better chance of succeeding based on where they live. The study pinpointed both best and worst places to start businesses based on the percentage of the workforce that encompasses female entrepreneurs, the rate of new entrepreneurs, the number of startups, the survival rate of startups and the average cost of child care.
Click through to see the best and worst cities for working moms.
Worst Cities for Mompreneurs
The worst cities for mompreneurs are in the Northeast, Midwest and Northern California. The percentage of female entrepreneurs in these areas is less than 1 percent of the workforce. Plus, the cost of child care in these cities isn’t low enough to offset weak numbers in other categories the study considered.
10. San Jose, Calif.
This city in California’s Silicon Valley is one of hottest places for new businesses — just not for women-owned businesses. Female entrepreneurs make up just 0.67 percent of the city’s workforce. And the cost of child care here is among the highest on the study’s list.
Detroit is one of the worst places to start a business for women because fewer than 50 percent of businesses survive five years. And female entrepreneurs make up only 0.54 percent of the workforce.
Cleveland has the lowest startup density on our list, meaning the city has the fewest number of startup firms for every 1,000 businesses. It also has one of the lowest rates of entrepreneurs, which measures the percentage of adults who became entrepreneurs in any given month.
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7. Sacramento, Calif.
California’s capital city has one of the highest costs of child care on our list, which can increase the cost of running a business for mompreneurs. Plus, just 0.56 percent of Sacramento’s workforce is made up of female entrepreneurs.
The City of Brotherly Love isn’t the friendliest place for women starting a business; they account for only 0.6 percent of Philadelphia’s workforce. Plus, the city has one of the lowest percentages of adults who become entrepreneurs in any given month.
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Child care in Indianapolis is more affordable than in most of the other worst cities for mompreneurs. However, women might face other roadblocks in becoming business owners. This city has a low percentage of the workforce that encapsulates female entrepreneurs, a low rate of new entrepreneurs, low startup density and a low survival rate for new businesses.
Pittsburgh is even less mompreneur-friendly than the other Pennsylvania city on our list. Its rate of new entrepreneurs — just 0.13 percent — is the lowest among the worst cities. Pittsburgh also has the second-lowest startup density, after Cleveland.
3. Providence, R.I.
The cost of child care in Rhode Island’s capital and largest city is higher than in most cities. Providence also is one of the worst cities for female entrepreneurs because they make up just 0.73 percent of the workforce. The city’s rate of new entrepreneurs and number of startups for every 1,000 companies also are low.
Working moms have to pay a high price for child care in Boston — the highest on our list. On average, the cost for one year of care for an infant is $20,125 in Boston, and the annual cost of child care for a 4-year-old is $14,256. Boston also has one of the lowest percentages of female entrepreneurs in its workforce — 0.55 percent.
Milwaukee is the worst city for mompreneurs because of its low scores for all of the factors this study considered. It has the lowest percentage of female entrepreneurs in its workforce — just 0.50 percent — and the second-lowest rate of new entrepreneurs among the 10 worst cities. Milwaukee’s startup density and new-business survival rates also are among the lowest, and along with that, child care costs are relatively high.
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Best Cities for Mompreneurs
The best cities for mompreneurs are in the South and West. Not only do these cities have favorable conditions for entrepreneurs and more affordable child care, but they also have higher rates of female entrepreneurs.
Dallas is the only city among the top 10 best cities for mompreneurs with less than 1 percent of its workforce composed of female entrepreneurs. However, the city’s child care costs are among the lowest. And Dallas has a relatively high rate of new entrepreneurs and startup density.
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Denver has one of the highest percentages of female entrepreneurs in its workforce. At 1.44 percent, the number isn’t astronomical, but it is higher than in most cities on our list. The Mile High City also has a high rate of new entrepreneurs and startup density, but a strike against Denver for working mothers is the high cost of child care — $15,138 annually for an infant and $11,229 annually for a 4-year-old.
8. Orlando, Fla.
This city in central Florida is known for its tourist attractions, most notably Walt Disney World. But Orlando also is one of the best places for moms to start a business. Its child care costs are among the lowest on this study’s list. And Orlando has 105 startups for every 1,000 companies — the second-highest startup density among the 10 best cities for mompreneurs.
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7. Charlotte, N.C.
Relatively low child care costs and a relatively high rate of female entrepreneurs in the workforce make North Carolina’s largest city a good place for moms to start a business. Plus, Charlotte has a higher rate of new entrepreneurs than most cities on our list.
6. Los Angeles
Los Angeles has the highest rate of new entrepreneurs in this study — along with Miami. It also has a relatively high startup density, with 92 new ventures for every 1,000 businesses. Plus, female entrepreneurs make up 1.34 percent of the workforce in Los Angeles, a higher rate than in most cities.
5. Portland, Ore.
Portland is one of just two of the 10 best cities for mompreneurs with a new-business survival rate higher than 50 percent. Oregon’s largest city also has the fourth-highest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the workforce — 1.55 percent. And it has the second-lowest average annual cost of care for a 4-year-old — $6,396.
4. Tampa, Fla.
A high rate of female entrepreneurs in the workforce helps make Tampa one of the best cities for mompreneurs. In fact, the Florida city has the third-highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the workforce at 1.6 percent. Plus, Tampa’s cost of child care is among the lowest on our list.
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3. Austin, Texas
Among the top 10 best cities for mompreneurs, Austin has the second-lowest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the workforce — 1 percent. But moms who want to start a business can benefit from the city’s relatively low cost of child care and active startup scene. Austin has one of the highest rates of new entrepreneurs and one of the best startup densities, with almost 105 new businesses for every 1,000 companies.
This Southern city has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the workforce — 1.75 percent. Working mothers also can benefit from Atlanta’s affordable child care, which costs less than in any other city on our list. A strike against Atlanta is its low survival rate for startups. Only 45.5 percent of new businesses survive at least five years.
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A thriving startup scene, a high rate of female entrepreneurs and low child care costs make Miami the best city for moms who are business owners. Along with Los Angeles, Miami has the highest rate of new entrepreneurs. It also has the highest startup density among the 10 best cities. As with Atlanta, though, Miami’s survival rate for startups is about 45 percent.
Where Mompreneurs Can Thrive
Thanks to affordable child care, thriving startup scenes and a higher rate of female business owners, several cities might offer better opportunities for mom entrepreneurs. The GOBankingRates study found these cities are in the South and West. But that doesn’t mean your venture won’t succeed if you’re a working mom who lives elsewhere.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the best and worst cities for mompreneurs based on five factors: (1) percentage of total civilian workforce accounted for by female entrepreneurs, sourced from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey and weighted double; (2) the rate of new entrepreneurs, which measures the percentage of adults who became entrepreneurs in a given month; (3) startup density, which is the number of startup firms per 1,000 firms; (4) survival rate, which is the percentage of firms that remained in operation through their first five years (the latter three entrepreneurial factors were sourced from the Kauffman Index and weighted normally); (5) state average cost of child care, based on the annual cost of a child care center for an infant and 4-year-old, sourced from Child Care Aware of America’s 2017 annual report. This factor was weighted 1 1/2 times because of its pertinence to mothers, but not double because it was state level.