Southern Comfort Breeds Prosperity

MBE Magazine Staff
Black woman with cropped afro and gray shirt stands with her arms folded in forefront with bald black man and white woman seated and looking at laptop in the background.

These Are The Top States for Black Women-Owned Businesses in 2021

Black female entrepreneurs reap the benefits of a dynamic, southern economy.

Many southern states have a small business-friendly economy and an overall favorable environment to help Black female entrepreneurs succeed, according to data just released from the first “Top States for Black Women-Owned Businesses in 2021” report., the business product comparison site for small business owners, discovered that the southern states topping the list often did so thanks to a higher-than-average Black population. In all but three of the top 10 states, the Black population exceeds 21 percent of the states’ residents. It appears logical; a state with a higher Black population should have a strong support network for Black female entrepreneurs. However, a few states which cracked the Top 10, such as Maryland, Delaware, and Arizona, achieved high marks, despite a relatively lower Black population.

The Top10 list frequently beat the trendline when looking at the percent of businesses run by Black women: 1.41 percent of all businesses in the top 10 states are run by Black women, which nearly doubles the national average of 0.74 percent. Beyond that, many of these states often engage Black women to become business owners at a faster rate than other states. And some states feature impressive economic landscapes for entrepreneurs of all races and genders.

COVID-19’s impact may not be fully represented in this report as most of the latest data regarding entrepreneurship in the U.S. is from 2019 or earlier. Because of this, the report can’t accurately gauge the pandemic’s role in the current state of Black women who own businesses.

Researchers analyzed data from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Annual Business Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis — to name a few – in order to bring you the Top 10 States for Black Women-Owned Businesses in 2021.

The full report is availableHERE:


#1.  Missouri
#2.  Georgia
#3.  Maryland
#4.  Virginia
#5.  North Carolina
#6.  Delaware
#7.  Texas
#8.  Mississippi
#9.  Arizona
#10. Louisiana

To best determine the best states for Black female entrepreneurs, the researchers selected and weighted the following metrics:

  • Percent of employer firms led solely by Black women (17.5 percent)
  • Percent of employees at solely Black women-led firms (17.5 percent): Annual Business Survey.  
  • Percent of Black women self-employed in their own business (17.5 percent)
  • Average income of Black women self-employed in their own incorporated business (17.5 percent)
  • Workforce growth between 2018 and 2019 (10 percent)
  • Cost of living (10 percent) 
  • State income tax rates (5 percent)
  • Unemployment rates (5 percent).

Note that because Black women business owners have a small sample size for certain states in the Census Bureau surveys, and the researchers adjusted some outlying results for accuracy.

“While we’re making some national strides toward gender and racial equity, we still have a significant way to go,” says Julie Titterington, Editor-in-Chief, “For instance, our data showed that Black women only solely run 0.74 percent of all employer firms in the country, and that figure needs to improve.”





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