The Worst 10 States For Women-Led Startups In 2022
California crept up two spots this year on the strength of its startup culture and infrastructure. As you might expect from the home of Silicon Valley, the $6.7 billion in venture capital dispensed to women-led startups in California over the last five years rivals that of other nations, not just other states. Relatedly, California also boasts the highest first-year survival rate in the country for startups at 81.8%. This productive environment comes at a cost – a high unemployment rate and the highest taxes in the nation. However, with an average income of $77,147 – almost twice that of Montana – women business owners may find the price entry to be worth it.
The home of the Grand Canyon cracked the top 10 as the third and final newcomer. Arizona’s success in our rankings is thanks mainly to the fact that women lead 28% of employer firms in the state (9th overall). In addition, Arizona women business owners earn just north of $70K per year, which ranks a solid 10th overall. Where Arizona really excels is consistency – the state ranks no worse than 20th in any of the five gender-specific metrics. These numbers back up the state’s maturing startup scene where Phoenix has already been marked by some as a cheaper and regulation-light alternative to Silicon Valley.
Narrowly holding on to the top 10 after falling seven places from last year is Virginia. The big reason for the drop doesn’t have anything to do with women – the percentage of Virginia businesses run by women increased from 27% to 28.7% from 2020 to 2021. Where Virginia really declined is in its startup first-year survival rate, dropping from 90.5% to 76.2%. Otherwise, Virginia’s metrics tend to fall on the high side of average without any serious weaknesses.
41. Tennessee (40.4 overall score): Women run only 15% of Tennessee’s employer firms (48th nationally) and just 1.15% of women in the state run their own business (46th nationally).
42. South Dakota (38.6): While it has low taxes and unemployment, South Dakota lags when it comes to women in leadership positions (20%).
43. Arkansas (35.6): With just 15.8% of employer firms in the state run by women (46th overall), Arkansas finds itself squarely in the bottom 10.
44. Alabama (34.9): Despite low unemployment and taxes, Alabama lands in the lower half of states for most of our metrics, with particularly low rates of business ownership for women (1.24%) and average women-run business income ($47,878).
45. New Hampshire (34 Madisonville finance payday loans.8): The Granite State ranks dead last in percentage of employer firms led by women (19.9%) and second-from-last percentage of women who own their own business (1.12%).
46. Utah (34.1): Utah may be the fastest-growing state in the nation, but it’s not currently translating into gains for women-led businesses. The Beehive State is dead last in firms run by women (13.5%) and average income for women business owners ($37,190).
47. North Dakota (31.2): Just $14K in venture capital has been invested into women-led startups in the past five years, while North Dakota’s percentage of employer firms led by women sits at a paltry 20.1% (both numbers rank 48th).
48. West Virginia (28.7): West Virginia ranks poorly in most of our metrics, but particularly so when it comes to employer firms led by women (21.4%) and women who own their own businesses (1.12%).
49. Iowa (26.2): Only 15.3% of employees in the state are at women-led firms (47th nationally), while Iowa is one of two states not to have received any venture capital funding in the past five years.