Early this year, Austin was ranked by Inc. magazine among the top 10 U.S. cities for the fastest-growing women-owned businesses. In the ranking, Austin was cited for its rapid increase in female-lead companies. Austin even beat out larger economies like San Francisco and San Diego. Now, Austin has scored two more recognitions for its female-owned businesses. The recent designations highlight the city’s growing demographic of companies that have a woman in charge.
Austin Welcomes Non-Conformists
In the January Inc. article, author Sophia Downs attributed Austin’s female-owned business presence to the city’s tendency to operate outside of social norms.
“Texas’s capital gives a warm welcome to nonconformists–and fast-growth companies,” she said. Our state capital’s appreciation of forward-thinking entrepreneurs helps to create the ideal environment for women-lead businesses in a variety of industries to get established and flourish. “Fourteen Inc. 5000 companies in Austin are run by women. They vary widely, from seven-time Inc. 5000 honoree Camp Gladiator (No. 1,223), a fitness boot camp, to Maggie Louise Confections (No. 287), a chocolatier that specializes in inventive gift boxes.”
Austin Puts Women in Charge
Last month, Austin was again acknowledged by Inc. for it’s growing number of female-owned companies. This time, Austin ranked among the top 10 U.S. cities for the number of women-led businesses. The ranking was based on the number of women-led companies in each city on the 2019 Inc. 5000 list, which is a compilation of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.
According to the Inc. article by Emily Canal, isolating cities where women in business are thriving is a signal that those areas offer more accommodating business environments for women by breaking from traditional norms.
“The tally of women-led companies in 2016 was up 2.8 percent, to 1.12 million, from 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. The places where they’re succeeding most are worth examining–particularly in light of the historical difficulties women entrepreneurs have faced relative to their male counterparts,” explains Canal. “Besides struggling to gain credibility, finding capital has been a consistent obstacle for female founders”
In the article, Austin is applauded for its 22 women-led Inc. 5000 companies. Collectively, they were able to experience 169 percent revenue growth between 2015 and 2018. “Their firms represent wide-ranging industries from renewable energy equipment seller Kinect Solar (No. 162), to organic personal care manufacturer Texas Beauty Labs (No. 288) and wedding dress e-commerce shop Revelry (No. 326).”
Best Cities for Women Entrepreneurs
Austin earned yet another shout-out for its significant number of female entrepreneurs in a SmartAsset ranking of the best places for women entrepreneurs in 2019. A report about the ranking that appeared in Yahoo! Finance shared data collected from the Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. The data showed that there were more than 1.1 million women-owned businesses in the 50 largest metro areas in 2016, up 2.8% from the year prior. Despite that, the representation of female-owned businesses remains low as a percentage of total businesses.
“In 2016, women-owned only 20% of all employer businesses nationwide. Given that a low percentage of women-owned businesses, SmartAsset looked at some of the best places for female entrepreneurs in this study in order to determine where women-owned businesses may be more likely to survive and grow.”
Austin took the second spot in the ranking, with strong startup activity by women is one of the main factors for the showing.
“Both new businesses and women-owned businesses are common in the Austin metro area. In 2016, 6.05% of businesses were formed within the previous three years, and 22.75% of businesses were owned by women.”
Economic Outlook for Women Entrepreneurs
Austin has definitely seen strong economic expansion over the last decade. After rebounding from its own economic disasters before the Great Recession, city leadership went to work to stimulate the economy, which in turn has created long-term economic growth. The continual flood of newcomers and strong job growth are key indicators that the economy will continue to thrive. Venture capital will continue to flow and in larger quantity. And with its independent spirit and forward-thinking mindset supported by the ever-growing number of female business leaders, Austin is poised to be an ideal environment for women entrepreneurs for years to come.
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