Diversity & Inclusion
DEI / POC in Tech / Roundups / Women in tech

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. (Screenshot)

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.


Knowledge is power!

Subscribe for free today and stay up to date with news and tips you need to grow your career and connect with our vibrant tech community.


How I Got Here: Det Ansinn's career as a CTO and founder taught him to prioritize the people behind the tech

WeWork approached physical space as if it were virtual — which led to the company’s downfall

Giving unused NASA tech new life

ChatGPT turns 1: Looking back on AI's breakout year

Technically Media