Beijing is the 13th best city in the world for women to start a business generating USD 1 million or more in annual revenue, a survey completed by Dell, research company IHS, and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard have found.

Factors taken into consideration when ranking the city's level of hospitality towards entrepreneurs included access to capital, markets, talent, technology, and culture. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, New York City was considered most entrepreneur-friendly, with San Francisco Bay Area coming in second, and London coming in third. The only Asian city on the list that precedes Beijing is Singapore, taking fifth place.

Hot on the heels of our fair city, Hong Kong nabbed the 14th spot, followed by Taipei, Shanghai, and Tokyo. We can't help but feel a little bit smug about this and with a city filled with powerful female entrepreneurs we interact with on a daily basis, especially in the food and beverage industry, it only verifies facts we already knew.

Examples of women going it alone in China include Claudia Masüger's Cheers, which just celebrated their fifth anniversary, having opened over 30 wine stores throughout the country, conquering many other cities besides our own.

Erica Huang, owner of the popular Farm to Neighbors market, is another role model for aspiring entrepreneurs. She is currently also gearing up to celebrate a milestone: the second anniversary of Beijing's favorite market on July 16-17 at The Grand Summit.

Melissa McKenna, founder of Juice by Melissa, has also taken her passions and turned them into business, having just opened a second branch of her popular juicing and healthy food restaurant in Shunyi.

Hopes are that as Beijing becomes a city where gender equallty improves and gender roles are continued to be questioned, more women will be able to take advantage of the positive business environment and opportunities garnered. 

Fears, contrary to many pieces suggesting that China is somewhat of a model for gender equality in the urban workplace, are that women in China's urban work force are actually losing ground as a result of rapid urbanization. According to a New York Times piece, "China's urban employment rate for working-age women fell to a new low of 60.8 percent in 2010, down from 77.4 percent 20 years earlier, according to census figures." To make things worse, "the 2010 rate was 20.3 percentage points lower than that of men."

Looking back even further, to an employment rate of over 90 for working-age women in urban areas at the end of 1970s (albeit as a result of the Party's conscious mobilization of the entire labor force) demonstrates that while China, and Beijing specifically, might be home for some kick-ass female entrepreneurs at the moment, there's still a lot of work to be done in this arena.

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