Portland area named one of America’s top 10 places for women entrepreneurs

San Francisco-based personal finance site NerdWallet.com released its list of the best places in America for women entrepreneurs, and eight out of the top 10 were in the Midwest or West Coast.

East of Minneapolis, the only places to make the list were Portland-South Portland, Maine, and Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The Portland-South Portland metro area was ranked No. 9, while Bridgeport was up at No. 2.

Boulder, Colorado, topped the list.

The NerdWallet ranking comes about two months after fellow finance site WalletHub named Maine the No. 6 state nationwide in terms of women’s equality, a ranking that heavily weighed how well women were represented in each state’s business community.

Greater Portland earned points in the NerdWallet ranking by having the country’s seventh most women-owned businesses per 100 residents, with 3.42.

The Portland area also had the lowest unemployment rate among the top 10 places in the list, and topped first place Boulder in terms of how women’s income compared to that of local men.

(In Greater Portland, the median income of women was reported to be $40,635, or about 80 percent of the median income of men here. That wasn’t by any stretch the highest percentage of the areas studied — No. 23 Los Angeles was up at 90 percent, for instance — but was better than Boulder’s 77 percent.)

As I noted when I wrote about the aforementioned WalletHub list, women CEOs like Melissa Smith of WEX and Jean Hoffman of Putney, two local and internationally successful companies, provide high-profile examples of how women are business leaders in Greater Portland.

That said, it’s still discouraging that in none of the 174 metro areas NerdWallet researched — including Portland — did women make as much as their male counterparts.


Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.