The ten best cities to start a business in as a woman

The ten best cities to start a business in as a woman

New data from payments provider Dojo, part of the Paymentsense brand, has looked at the best cities for women to start a business. By analysing data from the past year the index has revealed the UK cities where women should open business and compared this with the top cities to start a business overall. 

Dojo analysed the following criteria to assess which city in the UK has the best working conditions for women to start a business:

  • Five-year start-up survival rate – The % of cities that survive longer than five years.
  • Cost of living – The amount of money it costs to live day-to-day.
  • Average Weekly Pay  – How much the average full-time worker earns.
  • Female employees – Number of female employees.
  • Female business owners – Number of females that are self-employed.
  • Gender pay gap – Where in the UK has the lowest gender pay gap.

The results are as follows:

#1 York, North Yorkshire

  • Female bosses: 9.2%
  • Women in work: 66.3%

Today York is proudly championing it’s female-owned and run businesses, with women-only-networking groups such as ‘York Women Mean Business’ enabling growth and knowledge sharing across the city. York consistently scored highly in the study as a city with the 3rd highest 5-year start-up survival rate at 47.7% and the 5th highest for female bosses.

Catherine Paver in 1971 established footwear company Pavers, which has over 100 stores. 

#2 Wakefield, West Yorkshire

  • Female bosses: 5.1%
  • Women in work: 66.2%

Wakefield scored second place in both categories of the best places to start a business as a woman and where to start a business overall meaning this West Yorkshire city is a top choice for both men and women. Like York, the city has several networking opportunities for women, including Wakefield Women’s Business Club.

#3 Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

  • Women in work: 64.3%
  • Female bosses: 4.7%

Like Wakefield, Stoke-on-Trend was also consistent in its score across both indexes.

Bet365, a hugely successful gambling platform, is based in Stoke and was founded and is run by Denise Coates – the best-paid female executive in the world. Denise was paid £265 million in 2018. For reference, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, received £80 million. 

#4 Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

  • Women in work: 66.3%
  • Female bosses: 4.4%

Although the North East admits that diversity in businesses is lacking, there are several strong female leaders across the North East in companies such as Virgin Money’s Jayne-Anne Gadhia and Alice Hall, the founder of the Pink Boutique.

#5 Wolverhampton, West Midlands

  • Women in work: 62.1%
  • Female bosses: 4.7%

Caitlyn Moran, a successful journalist, comedian and best-selling author, grew up in Wolverhampton. Last year, entrepreneur and founder of the plastic-free cosmetics company Stript Becky Shuck used Natwest’s Back Her Business incentive to raise £2,000. 

The best places to start a business overall 

Starting a business anywhere within the UK will always start off as a challenge, but below are the top five places within the UK to start a business in general. Wolverhampton scored 161.1 on the index, whilst Wakefield scored 155.6, Stoke-on-Trent 127.8, Sheffield 127.8, and Southampton at 125.

The index was ranked on the five-year startup survival rate of new businesses, cost of living, and an average weekly full-time salary.