The Best and Worst States for Women-Owned Businesses

December 17, 2012
Center for Women in Business

State of Women owned businesses

The American Express Open Forum recently released a study on Women-owned businessess across the country and ranked the best states for women to own a business in. The states were measured by the growth of women-owned business and in overall economic clout. The data was measured from 1997 to 2012.

In all of the United States, the number of women-owned business has increased by 54% - a rate of 1 ½ times the national average. Here are the best and worst states:

Five Best States

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Nevada
  3. Wyoming
  4. Arizona
  5. North Dakota

Five Worst States

  1. Iowa
  2. Ohio
  3. Vermont
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Maine

The report also contained some interesting information on industry trends. The fastest growing industries for women-owned business:

  • Construction
  • Retail Trade
  • Finance & Insurance
  • Real Estate
  • Professional/Scientific/Technical Services

Note that these are the fastest-growing, but the largest industries for women-owned business are still Health Care, Education and Retail Trade.

While women-owned firms remain smaller on average, this report shows that they have been performing much better than all privately held firms – not only in growth but also in revenue and employment.

We encourage you to read the rest of the report, it is very insightful.