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Data - March 2016

Women-Owned Businesses in the Nation’s 25 Largest Cities

This index provides data on women-owned businesses in each of the nation’s 25 largest cities, including the overall number of women-owned firms, the growth rate for women-owned businesses and male-owned businesses, and average revenues per women-owned business.

by Jonathan Bowles




Tags: economic growth | economic opportunity | women entrepreneurs | entrepreneurship | tech | small business

This data analysis provides a new level of data about the dramatic surge in women entrepreneurs in the nation’s 25 largest cities. The graphs below show that the growth of women-owned businesses in the 25 largest American cities between 2007 and 2012 far outpaced the overall growth in women-owned businesses nationally. And out of the 25 most populous cities in the U.S., only one had a slower growth rate in women-owned businesses than the nation.

Generously funded by Capital One’s Future Edge initiative, our analysis —provide data for each of the 25 largest U.S. cities, specifically the number of women-owned business, 5-year and 10-year growth rates for the number of women-owned businesses, revenues per women-owned business. Major findings include:

  • 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 business, 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 States increase 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). 

This national data analysis accompanies “Breaking Through: Harnessing the Economic Potential of Women Entrepreneurs,” a 64-page report that focuses largely on the growing economic importance of women entrepreneurs in New York City, but also includes detailed chapters on the role of women entrepreneurs in four other cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. Click here to read the full report, and see below for more data on women entrepreneurs nationally.

City 2012 2007 Difference Percent Change
NYC Female-Owned 413899 305198 108701 35.6%
Maled-Owned 571852 529631 42221 8.0%
ATLANTA Female-Owned 28172 17047 11125 65.3%
Maled-Owned 31542 25949 5593 21.6%
WASH DC Female-Owned 27064 19291 7773 40.3%
Maled-Owned 30237 27588 2649 9.6%
SAN FRAN Female-Owned 40135 31639 8496 26.9%
Maled-Owned 63864 53836 10028 18.6%
DALLAS Female-Owned 52798 33387 19411 58.1%
Maled-Owned 76671 61581 15090 24.5%
LOS ANGELES Female-Owned 192358 136579 55779 40.8%
Maled-Owned 262460 234486 27974 11.9%
CHICAGO Female-Owned 123632 92119 31513 34.2%
Maled-Owned 147997 128852 19145 14.9%
HOUSTON Female-Owned 102813 63416 39397 62.1%
Maled-Owned 134236 114030 20206 17.7%
SAN DIEGO Female-Owned 47942 40020 7922 19.8%
Maled-Owned 72727 64360 8367 13.0%
PHOENIX Female-Owned 44294 30006 14288 47.6%
Maled-Owned 63479 52309 11170 21.4%
PHILADELPHIA Female-Owned 40906 27983 12923 46.2%
Maled-Owned 55745 48304 7441 15.4%
DETROIT Female-Owned 38576 25120 13456 53.6%
Maled-Owned 21089 19134 1955 10.2%
MEMPHIS Female-Owned 35710 16556 19154 115.7%
Maled-Owned 30568 27286 3282 12.0%
AUSTIN Female-Owned 34253 22714 11539 50.8%
Maled-Owned 51518 40184 11334 28.2%
CHARLOTTE Female-Owned 32008 21332 10676 50.0%
Maled-Owned 41600 34039 7561 22.2%
SEATTLE Female-Owned 29617 22412 7205 32.1%
Maled-Owned 42430 34397 8033 23.4%
FORD WORTH Female-Owned 29425 16515 12910 78.2%
Maled-Owned 35116 27615 7501 27.2%
SAN JOSE Female-Owned 28981 22000 6981 31.7%
Maled-Owned 40604 34095 6509 19.1%
JACKSONVILLE Female-Owned 28749 19155 9594 50.1%
Maled-Owned 33828 32309 1519 4.7%
DENVER Female-Owned 28725 20354 8371 41.1%
Maled-Owned 41776 34030 7746 22.8%
INDIANAPOLIS Female-Owned 27668 18202 9466 52.0%
Maled-Owned 34325 33758 567 1.7%
COLUMBUS Female-Owned 27044 18952 8092 42.7%
Maled-Owned 35593 29437 6156 20.9%
EL PASO Female-Owned 21872 14792 7080 47.9%
Maled-Owned 29356 28047 1309 4.7%
SAN ANTONIO Female-Owned 44295 30581 13714 44.8%
Maled-Owned 63283 58132 5151 8.9%
BOSTON Female-Owned 19390 14764 4626 31.3%
Maled-Owned 33543 27292 6251 22.9%