U.S. Chamber Foundation Report Analyzes Female Entrepreneurship State-By-State

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 10:00am

Research Finds Women Owned Businesses Flourish in Western States

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Women in Business (CWB) today released new research that identifies the states across the country that have attracted the most women-owned firms, and highlights best practices from economies that have seen their rates of female entrepreneurship flourish. The report, “Women Owned Businesses: Carving A New American Business Landscape,” was unveiled today at CWB’s Third Annual Summit.
“We need to not only look at where women-owned firms are thriving, but also why those states and communities have seen their rates of female entrepreneurship flourish,” said Gov. John R. McKernan, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Looking at this report, it is clear that smart, pragmatic programs can play an instrumental role in advancing the interests and building the business acumen of women entrepreneurs.”

The report finds that while there are no states where women make up 50% of the full-time self-employed workforce, women are approaching a balance in many western states where 45% of the self-employed are women. Oregon ranked first in the nation at 45.4%. Texas ranked second, and the other top seven states for self-employed women are also in the west: Washington, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The report also highlights various community and regional programs that foster female entrepreneurship in these states.

“The fastest growing segment of small business enterprise has been women owned businesses,” said Tamara Lundgren, vice chairman of the Chamber and president and CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. “Across the country, we are seeing women owned businesses grow at a rate that is 1.5 times that of other small business enterprises. These businesses have positive and powerful impacts on our country’s most important challenges of creating new jobs and growing the economy. The Chamber’s research highlights business initiatives, systems and programs that can continue to spur creation of women owned businesses.”
In addition to Gov. McKernan and Lundgren, speakers at the event included GoldieBlox Founder and Engineer Debbie Sterling, Cinnabon President and Changes of Commerce Co-Founder Kat Cole, Carol’s Daughter Founder and CEO Lisa Price, The Li.st Founder Rachel Sklar, and Barnard College President and Author of “Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection” Debora Spar.

The full report is available here. More information illustrating the gender gap in the business world is available here.

The Center for Women in Business (CWB) promotes and empowers women business leaders to achieve their personal and professional goals by increasing opportunities for women to serve on corporate boards and in the C-suite; mentoring women in the early stages of their careers or re-entering the workforce; and building a network of women entrepreneurs to encourage peer-to-peer networking, education, and professional growth.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.