2 NC Cities Ranked Among The Top In The Country For Women Entrepreneurs

Aaron Sánchez-Guerra
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The two most populous metropolitan areas in North Carolina are ranked among the best places for women entrepreneurs to work and succeed.


A new study by financial advising data website SmartAsset ranked the Raleigh and Charlotte metro areas in the top half of their study looking at favorable environments for women-owned businesses based on Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The Raleigh-Cary metro was ranked No. 12 out of 25 areas studied by SmartAsset for the second year in a row, according to Census Bureau data.

The area was listed as having women owning 20.4% of all businesses and 2.4% of businesses with over 500 employees. Its other metrics include Raleigh’s women-to-men pay ratio being 76% and its rate of start-ups operating after a year in the area, which is 80%.

The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro was ranked eighth, a major bump from being in 22nd place in 2019’s study. The area was listed as having women owning 19% of all businesses and 3.3% of businesses with over 500 employees. The women-to-pay ratio is slightly lower than Raleigh’s at 75% and its start-up survival rate is 80%.

Additionally, the September 2020 unemployment rate was 6% and 7% for Raleigh and Charlotte, respectively.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota, metro area was ranked as No. 1 in the list.

The SmartAsset study also based their rankings on the unemployment rate for women, new business applications in 2020 relative to the average in 2015 through 2019, and the rate of businesses that had profits or broke even.

“We are thrilled that our state received this recognition,” said N.C. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Gary Salamido in an email to The News & Observer. “North Carolina’s high quality of living coupled with the state’s strong history in the biopharma sector and other innovation-driven fields makes us a national leader in the entrepreneurship environment heading into 2021.

“North Carolina’s robust university system and cutting-edge research institutions are building blocks for future groundbreaking entrepreneurs,” Salamido said. “Furthermore, our business community succeeds when we attract a diverse workforce; we know that diversity fosters innovation and advances our ability to make better decisions from a variety of viewpoints.”
The N.C. Chamber hosts two “Women > A Force in Business” conferences annually for networking and training.

Triangle’s entrepreneurial environment
Attracted to the local talent pool, the nonprofit Black Girl Ventures that funds start-ups owned by women of color opened a chapter in Durham early this year. Black Girl Ventures has four other chapters in Texas, Florida, Alabama and Pennsylvania.

“You see a lot of Black women-owned businesses here being successful and that example drives more women and there’s a strong network of businesswomen here,” said Nicole Oxendine, the head of the Durham chapter, in an interview. “There’s so much more support and community around entrepreneurship and I think that’s something you may not see anywhere.”

Black Girl Ventures partnered with Halcyon, a start-up support nonprofit, and Bank of America to create a new business incubation program for women of color with business ventures. Applications are open online to women in North Carolina and across the country until Jan. 7, 2021.

The program will fund and train Black and brown women entrepreneurs for eight months.

“It’s great to see the Triangle region recognized as one of the best places for female entrepreneurs,” said Michael Haley, director of Wake County Economic Development and vice president of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, in an email.

“Whether you need access to talent, resources, or funding, there is no shortage of opportunity for women growing a business in the region.”
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top