Georgia and Nevada Are Tops for Women-Owned Business Growth

Georgia - The number of women-owned businesses in America has soared in recent years, with operations in Georgia and Nevada among the largest contributors to employment and revenue growth, according to a report published Monday by American Express.

The annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report – which pools data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis in determining the financial impact of such ventures – estimates America's total number of businesses headed by women ballooned 21% between 2014 and 2019 to nearly 13 million establishments. Overall business growth clocked in at just 9% during the same period.

Revenues generated by women-led companies, meanwhile, climbed 21% to nearly $2 trillion, while the jobs they created rose by 8% to 9.4 million. Both growth totals eclipse the national average for companies headed by executives of either gender.

"The economic impact of women-owned businesses is undeniable, from the trillions (of dollars) they contribute via revenue to the millions of jobs they provide," Courtney Kelso, senior vice president of American Express, said in a statement accompanying the report.

American Express defines a woman-owned business as an operation that is "at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more females." An estimated 42% of all American businesses are owned by women, up nearly tenfold from 4.6% in 1972.

Georgia, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and South Dakota rank among the top five states in terms of business, employment and revenue growth among women-owned establishments between 2014 and 2019, according to the report. Georgia and Nevada also rank among the top states for women-owned business growth in 2019 alone, joining Michigan, Florida and South Carolina.

"Growth in economic clout for women-owned businesses goes hand-in-hand with overall state economic growth as measured by (gross domestic product), growth in the population between the ages of 25 and 29 and net migration," according to the report. "These measures can be a strong indicator of up-and-coming locations for entrepreneurs as well as areas that may struggle in coming years."

At the other end of the spectrum, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alaska and North Dakota were found to have experienced the softest growth in terms of revenue, employment and total number of women-owned businesses over the five-year

American Express also calculates what it refers to as employment vitality at the state level. The metric is designed to track labor market contributions of women-owned businesses and combines employment growth rates with the total number of employees at such establishments in 2019.

Maine topped every other state in the country in terms of employment vitality, with Minnesota, Indiana, Delaware and Virginia rounding out the top five. Nebraska, Illinois, Vermont, Arkansas and Mississippi sat at the bottom of the report's employment index.

"Realizing the economic potential of women-owned businesses requires changes in policies, business practices and attitudes," according to the report. "Some changes, such as family leave and affordable childcare, impact all working women while others, such as training and access to capital and markets, are specific to particular segments of business owners."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates women made up just shy of 47% of U.S. employees in 2018, yet they accounted for less than 27% of all chief executives and only 40% of all management occupations. Among women in management, nearly 84% were white, while 10.3% were Hispanic or Latina and just 3.5% were black or African American.

And yet the American Express report suggests minority-owned businesses have enjoyed some of the most significant gains in recent years, with the total number owned by women of color climbing by 43% between 2014 and 2019. Black or African American business owners accounted for 42% of recent women-owned business growth.

Still, the report notes that the average revenue of a minority-owned business headed by a woman was less than $66,000 this year. For businesses led by non-minority women, average revenues totaled nearly $219,000.
Source: U.S News