Kansas City is the seventh best U.S. metropolitan area for women to own a business, according to a report for the financial data website WalletHub. The report ranked the 100 largest metro areas using 10 statistical measures grouped into three categories.
“It’s exciting to see we’re No. 7 in this ranking,” said CiCi Rojas, president and chief executive of the Central Exchange, whose organization has brought women in business together since 1980.
The formula made an area’s percentage of businesses owned by women its top factor. Those businesses’ numbers of employees, revenue, revenue growth and variety of industries also figured in, along with whether an area had a Small Business Administration women’s business center.
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Those factors were weighted to give a ranking for “female entrepreneurship,” and Kansas City was 14th best in that category.
Rojas and Sherry Turner, executive director of the Women’s Business Center in Kansas, both noted the variety of industries that area women-owned businesses had moved into, adding such fields as construction and information technology to service businesses.
Rojas said her organization included women-owned businesses “from very small, home-based businesses” to companies growing beyond $10 million in annual business.
“And we have resources anchored by the Kauffman Foundation for entrepreneurs,” she said, and “a rich supply” of others to help established businesses keep growing.
At Kauffman, senior program officer Nathan Kurtz said, “We support programs that foster entrepreneurship for all, including resources specifically designed for women at the Women’s Business Center, Enterprise Center of Johnson County and KC SourceLink.”
Turner said the area was “so open to making one connection lead to a second connection that leads to a third. The willingness to participate in others’ success is remarkable.”
Turner also mentioned that her center had created the Women’s Capital Connection and now had more than $2.5 million invested.
The WalletHub formula also gauged the “business climate for women-owned firms” and ranked Kansas City 12th in that category. That category used previous WalletHub rankings of areas’ pay and hiring equality and policies toward working mothers.
The third category was how favorable an area was for startups in general, regardless of ownership, and Kansas City was 22nd there.
Tennessee fared well in the rankings, with Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis ranking first, second and fourth. Columbus, Ohio, was third; Milwaukee fifth; and Rochester, N.Y., sixth. A perfect score would be 100, and Nashville had 70.04. Kansas City’s composite score was 64.82.
The rankings won’t help Silicon Valley dispel its reputation as a male tech bastion. San Jose was last among the 100 metro areas ranked.
“The new business environment in San Jose is not as friendly as it once was, especially for women,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “With so many more affordable, less crowded metro areas for entrepreneurs to explore, Silicon Valley is rapidly losing its appeal.”