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Denver Ranks as the Best City for Women to Start a Business

A study found that 29% of businesses in the Denver-metro area are female-owned and operated


Denver was recently ranked as the top metro area for women looking to start a business, ranking above 49 other cities across the country. The study, conducted by business.org, found that 29% of businesses in the Denver-metro area are female-owned and operated.

The ranking was based off of the percentage of female-only owned businesses, the unemployment rate for women, the pay differences between women and men and the number of new businesses per capita. According to the survey, these numbers were sourced from the U.S Census Bureau, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs and the American Community Survey.

According to these numbers, Denver has a female unemployment rate of 4.2%; has seen a 64% increase in new businesses being created in the city; and while women, on average, make $10,000 less a year than men in Denver, the report says this is, “one of the better pay gaps across metros in the country.”

The report was released in celebration of national women’s small business month. The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) reports that women-owned businesses (of which there are over 11.6 million) in the U.S. employ almost 9 million people and account for $1.7 trillion worth of sales per year.

“Small business month is important because there are so many voices telling women why they can't do something–often times the loudest voice is the one in our own head,” says Leanna DeBellevue, owner of Fruita-based DeBellevue Global, a global marketing firm. “We need a voice to be a beacon and encourage us that we can pursue our dream and we don't have to take a back seat. It is essential that women stand up, encourage and mentor one another.”

Denver has a number of resources dedicated to helping women start businesses. This includes Women Who Startup, a Denver-headquartered organization for female entrepreneurs; as well as a number of female-focused co-working spaces that provide resources like Women in Kind and Charley Co.; the Women’s Business Center at Mi Casa Resource Center; the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and much more.

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Ali Longwell

Ali Longwell is the digital editor at ColoradoBiz. She has also written for SDxCentral, a B2B online technology publication, as well as Denver-area lifestyle magazines 5280, Denver Life Magazine, Avid Lifestyle and more. She can be reached at alongwell@cobizmag.com

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