Washington comes in at No. 3 in a newly released ranking of the best states for female entrepreneurs based on its Seattle-propelled vibrant business landscape and overall favorable climate for women empowerment.
The study, undertaken by small-business platform FitSmallBusiness, points out that there is often an inverse relationship between the cost of living in a state and other “startup friendly” economic factors as well as attitudes and support for women-owned businesses. Seattle, however, strikes a good balance, the study concludes, resulting in its high ranking.
“As in the similar case of California’s San Francisco, Washington state boasts a start-up powerhouse city in Seattle ― all within the larger context of a vibrant and thriving Pacific Northwest business landscape,” the FitSmallBusiness assessment states. “While the cost of living there is high, it’s not California- or New York-level high.”
The study adds that other favorable factors in Washington for female entrepreneurs include “no corporate income tax” and “a plethora of major female-empowerment and funding organizations,” including, for example, the Women’s Funding Alliance, 100% Talent, Women’s Funding Network and the WA Women’s Foundation.
Washington combines the best of economic opportunity and female-positive support, FitSmallBusiness concludes. Ranking first in the study is Colorado, followed by California. Trailing Washington at No. 4 is New York, followed by Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Georgia, Iowa and Vermont.
Washington as of 2019 had an estimated 215,185 women-owned businesses, up 10% since 2014 and up 3.9% from 2018, American Express’ ninth annual State of Women-Owned Business Report shows. Women-owned business in the state as of last year employed an estimated 202,869 people, up 11% from 2014 and an increase of 4.2% from 2018, the report shows. (The disparity between total businesses and total employment is explained by the fact that not all the businesses are full-time endeavors.)
The pace of growth of women-owned firms in the Seattle area and Washington state over the past five years eclipses measures of total new-business growth nationally (9%) and total employment growth across all businesses (1.8%), the American Express study notes.