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.
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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