one in 18 adult women in the United States, 5.7 percent, is a
business owner. Alaska boasts the highest rate of female entrepreneurship,
with 9.4 percent of the adult women in the state owning businesses.
Mississippi is the lowest with only 1 in 25 or 4.0 percent of the
women in the state acting as business owners, according to
a new analysis from Center for Women's Business Research.
The research brief, "Women's Business Ownership by State,"
is based on analysis of both business and household Census
data and draws from the December 2001 report by the Center,
"Women-Owned Businesses in 2002: Trends in the U.S. and
variance in the rates of women's business ownership from state
to state is consistent with overall trends of business ownership
by all adults — those states with the highest rates of
overall business ownership were also highest for women's entrepreneurship
and those with the lowest rates were lowest for women's entrepreneurship.
Rates of business ownership among all adults range from a
high of 15.1 percent in Montana to a low of 8.0% in West Virginia.
Though men are currently more likely than women to be business
owners, (10.4 percent of all adults compared to 5.7 percent of women), female
entrepreneurship has been growing at twice the national average
research shows that women's entrepreneurship is flourishing
throughout the U.S. Nearly 6% of all adult women now own and
run businesses and contribute substantially to the nation's
economy," said Myra M. Hart, chair, Center for Women's
Business Research. "The analysis of this data enables
us to compare business participation rates among women and
all adults in every state and creates a baseline for measuring
changes and progress in the future."
with the highest rates of business ownership, both among women
and overall, are clustered in the Mountain and Northeast regions
of the United States. Among women, states with the highest rates of
business ownership are: Alaska; Colorado; Montana; Vermont;
Wyoming; Oregon; Utah; Idaho; Maine; and New Mexico.
lowest rates of business ownership are found primarily in
the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Among women, the states
with the lowest rates of business ownership are: Mississippi;
Pennsylvania; Alabama; Louisiana; Arkansas; West Virginia;
South Carolina; Kentucky; Wisconsin; and Ohio.