New York City is home to roughly 414,000 women entrepreneurs – more than any other U.S. city. The Big Apple is also a hot spot for women-owned business sales, which generated $53 billion in revenue in 2012 alone – up 25% from 2007. Los Angeles (192,358). Chicago ranks third with 123,632 women-owned firms, followed by Houston with 102,813, and Dallas with 52,798.
But while New York tops the list in terms of the overall numbers of women-owned businesses, Dallas ranks first in revenues per women-owned businesses of the 25 largest cities. The average sales for women-owned firms are $198,599. San Antonio, Texas, was second, with $191,223 in average sales, followed by Fort Worth ($186,435), Houston ($181,122), and San Francisco ($175,766).
These findings are from a study, created by a Center for an Urban Future, and made possible by Capital One’s Future Edge initiative, which explored the surge of women-led businesses and the economic impact of this strong growth in major U.S. cities, while also examining the challenges that remain for female entrepreneurs. The report documents that the number of women-owned businesses in the 25 largest American cities increased by 43% over the past five years, far outpacing the overall growth in women-owned businesses nationally (at 27%). 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. Memphis, Tennessee, Fort Worth, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan, — each saw upwards of 175% growth in the number of women-led businesses from 2002-2012.
Other key findings of the report, titled Breaking Through: Harnessing the Economic Potential of Women Entrepreneurs, revealed that 90% 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.
“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,” notes 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.”
Top cities with women business owners generating the most revenues annually:
- Dallas, TX $198,599
- San Antonio, TX $191,223
- Fort Worth, TX $186,435
- Houston, TX $181,122
- San Francisco, CA $175,766
- Indianapolis, IN $170,920
- Boston, MA $169,020
- San Diego, CA $163,769
- Phoenix, Ariz. $163,721
- Seattle, WA $162,948
- Washington, D.C. $162,495
- Austin, TX $150,694