The Center for an Urban Future published a 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).
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 by 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 States increased 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).
The report demonstrates that women entrepreneurs have made great strides and economic contributions in recent years; however, it also highlights several challenges that women face as they start and grow businesses and features a number of actionable recommendations to support and promote women's entrepreneurship. The report includes an in-depth look at women entrepreneurs in New York City, as well as detailed chapters on the role of women entrepreneurs in four other cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.
"Women entrepreneurs have become a major catalyst for economic growth in cities across the country, but there is still more that could be done to harness their tremendous economic potential," says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future.
"Women are making significant strides as business leaders and entrepreneurs, yet many continue to face common challenges related to managing and securing financing, as well as adopting technology," said Keri Gohman, head of Small Business Banking at Capital One. "The great news is there are a variety of quality, accessible resources—through organizations and programs like Grameen America, BusinessAdvising.org and others—designed to help business owners understand, plan, and communicate their financials effectively."
Source: The Center for an Urban Future