The Best – and Worst – States for Women-Led Business Startups
Colorado is the most female entrepreneur-friendly state for the third year in a row, and opportunities — and startup funding — for female business owners appear to be moving West, according to a new report by Merchant Maverick.
Merchant Maverick, a partner referral site that writes editorial reviews of merchant-related software, found that Colorado — despite an overall high unemployment rate — continues to rank well in all other metrics, with strong participation by women in leadership roles and resilient startup hubs in Boulder and Denver.
The report, Best States for Women-led Startups, found that Wyoming and Illinois are this year’s most improved states among the Top 10. Women in Wyoming are starting businesses and overseeing a high percentage of state’s employees, while Chicago’s high levels of venture capital propelled Illinois into the Top 10 this year for the first time.
While many of last year’s Top 10 made the list this year, including Colorado, Texas, Florida, Washington, California, Virginia and Arizona, they were joined by North Carolina, Wyoming and Illinois.
Notably absent were Northeastern states. While New York, Vermont and Massachusetts fared relatively well, they missed the Top 10, landing at No. 12, 14 and 14, respectively. Massachusetts and Maryland were the only two states to fall out of the Top 10.
“While venture capital remains strong in the region, it appears to be facing some headwinds when it comes to unemployment and startup survival rates,” the report states. “While reports of the region’s demise may be greatly exaggerated, there could be trouble ahead for the Northeast when it comes to retaining its footing in the post-Covid world.”