Delaware is a top-10 state for Black women business owners - Delaware


Feb. 24, 2021 5:38 pm

Delaware is a top-10 state for Black women business owners

The First State ranked #6 in a Merchant Maverick list that might surprise you.
The darker the state, the higher the rate of Black woman-owned businesses.

The darker the state, the higher the rate of Black woman-owned businesses.


It’s not easy being a Black woman entrepreneur, from a lack of VC funding to challenges finding brick and mortar space. Funding for Black and Latina women has tripled between 2018 and 2020, according to the biennial report ProjectDiane — still, their gains are paltry compared to the amount of VC dispersed overall.

For Black woman entrepreneurs in Delaware, there’s some to be hopeful about: Small business research and ratings site Merchant Maverick has ranked the state #6 for Black women looking to start a business.

Delaware is sandwiched between North Carolina (#5) and Texas (#7). The top ranker? Missouri, which is about a far north as the list gets. The top 10 also includes Georgia, at #2, Maryland at #3, Virginia (#4), Mississippi (#8), and is rounded out by Louisiana (#10). These states mainly concentrated in the South, all have higher than average Black populations — not a big surprise, as Black communities anecdotally tend to be supportive of Black businesses.

The top states also tend to have a lower cost of living than states in the Northeast and on the West Coast, which was one of the factors considered. The biggest surprise is probably Arizona at #9, with its mere 5% Black population.

Map of the Top 10 States

(Courtesy image)

Here’s the methodology Merchant Maverick used — but note, the impact of COVID-19 is not fully represented in the report:

  • Percent of employer firms led solely by Black women
  • Percent of employees at solely Black women-led firms
  • Percent of Black women self-employed in their own incorporated business
  • Average income of Black women self-employed in their own business
  • Workforce growth between 2018 and 2019
  • Cost of living
  • State income tax rates
  • Unemployment rates

The study found that in Delaware, 1.19% of Black women are self-employed in their own business, which ranks second nationally and is highest among other top 10 states. Meanwhile, 0.63% of Delaware employees are employed at Black women-led firms — which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the sixth highest for this metric nationally. And 1.02% (ninth in the nation) of employer firms are led by Black women.


Overall, 1.41% of all businesses in the top 10 states are run by Black women, which nearly doubles the national average of 0.74%, per the report.


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