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Birmingham ranks as a top city for women entrepreneurs

A strong sense of optimism and steady support are fueling the growing female-led businesses across the country and Southeast. (file)

Nine million businesses nationwide and growing – women entrepreneurs are leading the charge with starting and owning businesses across the United States.

And while the trend is true nationally, the Southeast is also a hot spot for female business owners. A recent report on, an online community of professional service providers, shows the encouraging news for startups.

Birmingham is third in a ranking of Top 10 Cities for Women Entrepreneurs and Alabama ranks sixth in the Top 10 States for Women Entrepreneurs. According to, not only is government support readily available for female business owners in these top markets, but they also had a strong sense of optimism.

Statistics show that female-owned businesses are growing 1.5 times faster than the national average. Hispanic- and African-American-owned businesses are also growing rapidly, a National Women’s Business Council study found.

“The vitality of Alabama’s economy is strongly linked to high levels of entrepreneurship and the health of small businesses across the state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We’re fortunate that much of this activity in the state is being driven by women, who are proving their capabilities in the marketplace every single day.”

Here’s a look at the Top 10 Cities for Women Entrepreneurs:

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Lakeland, Florida
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Portland, Maine
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia

Mississippi was No. 1 in the Top 10 States for Women Entrepreneurs, followed by Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Michigan and Utah.

According to the report, women thrive in professions utilizing creative and interpersonal skills and enjoy working in fields like photography, personal training, coaching and catering. In the mainstream economy, women are found most often in fields such as healthcare, social assistance and education.

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