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Which State Is Best for Women-Owned Businesses, and Why?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on August 25, 2014 8:35 AM

One of our previous posts looking at the best cities for women entrepreneurs by and large generated the expected results: San Francisco, New York City, Houston, Denver, etc.

But a recent report on the best overall states for women-owned businesses had a somewhat more surprising winner, reports Slate. While large states like California may have the greatest number of female business owners, it turns out that, in terms of growing economic clout, women are currently making it happen in... North Dakota.

How did the "Peace Garden State" manage to pull it off?

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Growth in Number, Revenue, Employment

The rankings of top states for women-owned firms were included in the most recent OPEN State of Women Owned Businesses Report, an annual report commissioned by American Express.

According to the report, states were ranked based on growth in combined economic clout. The rankings consider the growth in number, revenues, and employment of women-owned firms.

Along with North Dakota, other places where women-owned businesses are thriving include the District of Columbia, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia, which showed the biggest gains in number of women-owned business of any state.

The states showing the least overall growth in economic clout of women-owned business included Iowa, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Ohio.

Growth in 'Non Traditional' Sectors

In addition to ranking individual states and metropolitan areas, the report also looked at the concentration and distribution of women-owned businesses by industry.

It found that women-owned businesses are starting, and growing, across all industries, "diversifying into sectors previously described as 'non-traditional' for women."

This echoes the result of another recent study that found women outperform men in the growing world of online crowdfunding, even in traditionally male-dominated industries like gaming and technology. That report found that women were more than twice as likely to reach their fundraising goals on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites than men.

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