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Seattle ranked second for women entrepreneurs. Via Nerd Wallet.
Seattle skyline (Photo: Angela N.)

If you’re a woman and an entrepreneur, there are few better places to be in than Seattle.

That’s according to a new study from personal finance site Nerd Wallet, who placed Seattle just behind San Francisco as the best place for women entrepreneurs.

Here’s what they based their rankings on:

  • Number of businesses per 100 residents from the U.S. Census
  • Percent of businesses that are women-owned from the U.S. Census
  • Median income from the U.S. Census (half-weighted)
  • Unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (half-weighted)
  • Percent of residents 25 years and older who have a Bachelor’s degree

Here’s what they had to say about Seattle:

Seattle is one of the most highly educated cities and has a correspondingly high median income and low unemployment rate. With 12.5 businesses per 100 residents, the city is highly entrepreneurial, and women own around 4 of those businesses.

Organizations like CHEW organize events and panels to encourage female entrepreneurs to open their businesses in Seattle. Seattle is also home to one of the world’s most famous and civic-minded businesswomen, Melinda Gates, as well as rising chef and restaurant entrepreneur Renee Erickson.

Washington D.C. came in third, followed by Minneapolis and then Portland, Ore.

There are definitely some notable female entrepreneurs in the area: Mary Jesse at Ivy, Liz Pearce at LiquidPlanner, Jane Park at Julep and Christina Lomasney at Modumetal, just to name a few.

The picture below is from Startup Weekend Women’s Edition, an event hosted last summer by Julie Sandler of Madrona Venture Group and Shauna Causey of It marked the first time that a female-oriented hackathon was held in Seattle. Of the 90 participants, 75 percent were women.

Participants at the Startup Weekend Women’s Edition. Photo: Kyle Kesterson

Most of the women said that they were inspired by the event, saying that they would participate at future Startup Weekends. Adriana Moscatelli, a user experience designer who led the gaming upstart Pink Matrix Labs, said she made some fantastic connections during the event.

“In our daily work, we spend all day around guys,” said Moscatelli. “It was such a unique opportunity to spend time around so many smart, engaging and geeky women.”

GeekWire columnist Monica Guzman wondered if it was discriminatory to host an event that limits the participation of one group in favor of another.

“Is this a healthy event for our startup climate, or a flawed one?” Guzman asked.

From top left, clockwise: Liz Pearce, Mary Jesse, Christina Lomasney and Jane Park.

You can check out Guzman’s column and all the interesting reader comments here.

From a bigger picture outlook, there has been lots of talk about Seattle as a startup city. It was recently ranked 4th as a global startup hub and Tableau CEO Christian Chabot just called it the promised land of startup America.

But more investment money and brand name investors in the area wouldn’t hurt, as John Cook wrote last month. And people like Ignition’s Cam Myhrvold say that the problem isn’t money, it’s the entrepreneurial talent.

Previously on GeekWireWomen in tech: Is Startup Weekend Women’s Edition fantastic or flawed?

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