Not all cities are created equal when it comes to start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures. Whether it’s restrictive zoning and business license practices, or limited access to investment funds and an unsustainable local market, some areas just aren’t the best location to launch your new business. While many would-be entrepreneurs have been streaming into West Coast cities, particularly in the San Francisco/Bay Area region, the real place to launch a successful business is New York. That holds especially true for female entrepreneurs.
New York was ranked as the number one city in the world for women entrepreneurs in 2017. It offers many benefits to aspiring new business owners and start-up founders, as well as to entrepreneurs with some experience under their belts. It has many of the world’s top venture capitalists as well as Wall Street’s many deep-pocketed traders, and with a huge number of investors within easy reach, it’s easier to connect with, set up and attend pitch sessions, and keep up relationships and communication with investors.
The enormous, diverse population of New York offers four advantages to local entrepreneurs. First, you have a large pool of networking peers within reach. Connecting with other entrepreneurs in the launch stage or early in the process of growing their business can offer some much-needed encouragement, help you feel less alone, and maybe add an element of healthy competition. It also affords the chance to share relevant lessons, tips, and discoveries with each other, and to make mutually advantageous connections and partnerships to give each other a hand up and help grow each other’s business. Community and collaboration can be a foundation stone of success.
Second, you have unparalleled access to potential mentors. New York has many top start-ups to choose from for advice. You can connect with an established entrepreneur in a related industry, who comes from a similar background, or who has faced similar challenges, and learn from her or his experience. As with peer networking, mentors often offer social and strategic benefits, helping less established entrepreneurs with intangibles such as motivation, determination, and direction, as well as the nuts and bolts of launching and growing a business. For women, New York offers an unusually high number of successful female entrepreneurs, as well as many dedicated industry groups for women in business.
Third, you can draw from an excellent talent pool. Some of the best and brightest come to New York from around the world to put their skills, education, and talent to good use. While many businesses are looking at the potential of remote workers, sometimes you just need someone to sit in the chair next to you and collaborate. Finding the right fit and saving on recruitment becomes much more achievable with the extensive local talent pool of New York.
Finally, and significantly, New York’s massive population offers a deep, varied group of potential customers. You’ll be able to reach consumers in your area, which helps when it comes time to test marketability of new ideas, launch brick-and-mortar locations, and get a first-hand understanding of your customer.
While part of the appeal of launching in New York is how competitive it is – you’ll find out quickly if you have what it takes to reach and hold on to success – it also offers a less cut-throat start-up community than does Silicon Valley, and there’s somewhat less of a “boy’s club” vibe. With more women launching new ventures than ever before, a supportive, welcoming existing start-up culture and community is an attractive feature of the city.
America has a wealth of entrepreneurs from which aspiring professionals can source inspiration. If you look online, you will find an endless stream of resources and advice and successful entrepreneurs who are keen to share their secrets with a new generation. Keith Krach is one such individual; the chairman of electronic signature technology firm, DocuSign, Krach has a dedicated YouTube channel that offers priceless advice on leadership, technology, and what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
New York certainly embodies this ethos and also serves as a thriving hub for budding female entrepreneurs, who find that the best way to share their passion, contribute to the world, and achieve success, is often striking out on their own.
For many people, New York is and will continue to be the place to be. The opportunities available, including funding, education, mentor-ship, community, networking, talent sourcing, and market research, are due in part to the city’s population size and diversity. A prevailing attitude of support and encouragement for start-ups, including female-lead entrepreneurial ventures, as well as a welcoming attitude toward small business growth, make this one of the best cities in which to launch and grow a new business.