Portland top city for women in business

Portland top city for women in business

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by KGW staff

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kgw.com

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 1 at 2:21 PM

PORTLAND – March is Women's History Month, which among other things, celebrates take-charge risk takers.

Personal financial website nerdwallet.com wanted to find out which cities are best for women to start and grow a business in.

According to a new report by the site, nearly one-third of businesses in Portland are owned by women.

Sara Tunstall is co-owner of Spooltown, a small sewing factory in North Portland that does contract work for other businesses.

“I would say we work with about a dozen women owned businesses in Portland,” she said. “We all work together to make things happen.”

Spooltown is a off-shoot of Queen Bee, another women-owned business in the same building.

“It's about being willing to take a risk and kind of jumping off that cliff and diving into the waters and seeing what happens,” Tunstall said.

Data from the top 50 U.S. cities were surveyed to find out if a city is entrepreneurial, educated and has a good economy.

Portland came in fifth, with San Francisco leading the pack, and San Diego taking the ten spot.

“We asked them, you know, ‘what is it that helped you succeed the most?’ A lot of them said mentoring and networking,” said Stephanie Wei from nerdwallet.com.

For many women, the support comes from Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon (WEO).

“Part of the success is, for every talent and visionary, for leaders to get out of their own way and build a team,” said Cathie Nelson of WEO.

Jude Kristein got help from the City of Portland in starting her wheel-building business called Sugar.

“I think women have a more spirit of collaboration, and that's the one think i notice that's helpful,” she said.

“I think it's the kind of town where anything is possible,” Tunstall said.

Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon meets on the second Wednesday of every month. For more information visit: oregonweo.org.

KGW business reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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