To commence Women’s History Month, the Center for an Urban Future today published a groundbreaking new study, with support from Capital One’s Future Edge initiative, that reveals a dramatic surge in women entrepreneurs in the nation’s 25 largest cities but also shows that women still face a number of challenges as they start and grow businesses. The report documents that the number of women-owned businesses in the 25 largest American cities increased by 43 percent over the past five years, far outpacing the overall growth in women-owned businesses nationally (27 percent). Indeed, of the 25 most populous cities in the U.S., only one had a slower growth rate in women-owned businesses than the nation.
The report, titled “Breaking Through: Harnessing the Economic Potential of Women Entrepreneurs,” includes fresh data for each of the 25 largest U.S. cities, specifically the number of women-owned businesses, five-year and 10-year growth rates for the number of women-owned businesses, and revenues per women-owned business.
Among the findings from the report:
- Of the nation’s 25 most populous cities, Memphis had the fastest growth in women-owned businesses between 2007 and 2012, the most recent year for which data from the U.S. Economic Census is available. The number of women-owned businesses in Memphis increased by 116 percent.
- Fort Worth had the second highest five-year growth rate, with women-owned firms growing by 78 percent, followed by Atlanta (65 percent), Houston (62 percent), and Dallas (58 percent).
- Of the 25 largest cities, Dallas ranks first in revenues per women-owned businesses, with $198,599 in average sales. San Antonio was second, with $191,223 in average sales, followed Fort Worth($186,435), Houston ($181,122), and San Francisco ($175,766).
- In terms of the overall numbers of women-owned businesses, New York City tops the list, with 413,899—more than double than the second-ranked city, Los Angeles (192,358). Chicago ranks third with 123,632 women owned firms, followed by Houston with 102,813, and Dallas with 52,798.
- Over the last decade, from 2002–2012, the number of women-owned businesses in the United Statesincreased by 52 percent. This amounts to 928 new businesses every day, adding over 1,290,245 jobs and $90,191,545 billion in payroll to the nation’s economy.
- Ninety percent of all women-owned businesses in the U.S. have no paid employees.
- If only one quarter of the existing 8,842,742 women-owned businesses in the United States with no employees added a single employee in the next three years, it would result in more than 2.2 million new jobs.
- The cities with the slowest growth in women-owned businesses over the past five years include San Diego (which experienced a 20 percent increase in the number of women-owned businesses), San Francisco (27 percent increase), Boston (31 percent), San Jose (32 percent), and Seattle (32 percent).
More detailed data charts can be viewed below.