Respect Equality

California, Colorado best states for women-owned businesses

A new data crunch breaks down the best and worst environments for women to start or maintain a business. 
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  • Financial consulting firm Clarify Capital recently released a ranking of the “best” and “worst” states for women-owned businesses. 

  • Study crafters gave each state a score based on an average of each’s state’s ranking in five different categories. 

  • The analysis determined that California, Colorado, New York, Florida and Vermont were the best states for women-owned businesses. 

California, Colorado and New York are the three best states for women-owned businesses, according to an analysis from financial consulting firm Clarify Capital.  

Although still in the minority, women-owned businesses are on the rise. In 2018, women-owned businesses accounted for just under 20 percent of all businesses that employed people in the United States, according to U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey.

But there were 6,861 more women-owned businesses in existence that year than in 2017, marking an increase of 0.6 percent.  


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Study crafters determined the “best” states by ranking them based off an aggregated score of the following five variables: percentage of female-owned small businesses, women-to-men pay ratios, female unemployment rates, the number of women-owned businesses with $1 million or more in annual revenue and the number of women-owned companies per 10,000 residents.  

California was ranked first with a score of 80.68, the study states, and has the highest number of female-owned companies raking in over a $1 million in revenue a year.  

The Golden State came in fifth out of all 50 states for the most equal female to male pay ratio and ranked low in terms of percent of female unemployment.  

Even though it didn’t make the top 10, Wyoming ranked first in the study’s category of percentage of women-owned businesses and second in women-owned businesses per 10,000 residents.  

Vermont came in at number one in the category of women-to-men pay ratio. For every dollar a man earns, Vermont women earn 89 cents, which is six cents more than the national pay gap, according to U.S. Census data.  

Nevada, ranked 35th on the list, was the state with the largest jump in women-owned businesses over the past 20 years at 83 percent, according to the analysis. Meanwhile, the greatest decrease in women-owned businesses over that same time period has happened in West Virginia, which came in at number 50.  


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