Although women have been breaking the glass ceiling in the business world for decades, a significant gender gap remains when it comes to entrepreneurship. However, some metro areas are conducive for female founders’ success—and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is one of them, according to a new study from SmartAsset.
The New York-based personal finance technology company recently looked at 50 of the largest metro areas to find the best places for women to launch their own businesses. In the second annual study, SmartAsset sought to uncover where women have the opportunity to take ownership of their long-term financial goals—and be their own boss of companies with 500 employees and beyond.
The top-ranked metro area was Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked No. 10.
To rank each location, SmartAsset used a number of metrics: female-owned businesses, percentage of businesses owned by women, women-owned businesses as a percentage of businesses with greater than 500 employees, new businesses as a percentage of total businesses, percentage of businesses that had profits or broke even, startup survival rate, women-to-men pay ratio, and last year’s female unemployment rate.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the September 2020 unemployment rate and the number of new business applications in 2020 relative to the previous five years were also taken into account. In this area, SmartAsset pointed out that things are looking up—during COVID, data from the Census Bureau shows that new business applications are up 5 percent compared to the past few years.
Overall though, SmartAsset found that the percentage of female-owned businesses is small, especially when it comes to large companies.
Women-owned businesses only constitute about a fifth of all business at the top, SmartAsset noted, and the number is significantly lower for businesses with more than 500 employees.
Atlanta has the most companies led by women, with 21.92 percent. New York has the most women-owned businesses with greater than 500 employees at 3.56 percent.
In Dallas-Fort-Worth-Arlington, there are 24,383 women-owned businesses, according to SmartAsset. For that metric specifically, our region ranked fifth.
And, the metro ranked fourth-highest overall when it comes to women-owned businesses with more than 500 employees (3.19 percent) and sixth-highest overall for the statewide metric of new businesses as a percentage of total businesses (9.54 percent).
But, SmartAsset said that 79.42 percent of women-owned businesses break even or turn a profit.
While the statistics are looking up, the study only shows that the country has a ways to go. Women across Dallas-Fort-Worth-Arlington—and the country—are continually breaking barriers, but it is up to the cities to provide equal opportunity.
According to the 2018-2019 Women’s Report from The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 10.2 percent of women between ages 18 and 64 are new entrepreneurs. That number is only three-quarters of the number of male entrepreneurs.
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