Women-owned businesses flourishing in Alabama, but down in Birmingham

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Alabama ranks near the bottom of the barrel in far too many lists. But when American Express released their 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report that details trends and ranks the nation’s top metro areas on Friday the Yellowhammer State actually did really well.

According to the report, Alabama has an estimated 152,800 women-owned businesses — defined as businesses that are at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by one or more females — that employ 110,500 with revenues of roughly $18.7 billion.

The report analyzed data from U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners and factoring in relative changes in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It’s findings indicate more women started businesses in the U.S. between 2017 and 2018 than in any period over the past 15 years. In fact, women​ started an average of 1,821 new businesses a day in the U.S. in the past 12 months.

A closer look at Alabama

Alabama is ranked 17th in growth of number of women-owned firms since 2007 with a 42.2 percent increase among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., 35th in growth of jobs created with a 9.7 percent increase and 36th in growth of firm revenues with a 25.1 percent increase.

But the news isn’t as good for Birmingham. While the area ranks 37th in growth of number of women-owned firms among the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas with a 33.6 percent increase over the past 11 years, the number of women-owned firms decreased 4.7 percent in the past year. Neverhtless, Birmingham still ranks 44th in growth of jobs created with a 5.9 percent increase and 35th in growth of firm revenues with a 25.7 percent increase.

Amex 2018

[Photo courtesy of American Express]

Other findings

Below are some other interesting facts from the report:

  • Over the last 11 years, all businesses increased by 12 percent, while the number of women-owned businesses has soared 58 percent.
  • Four out of every 10 businesses (40 percent) in the United States are now women-owned.
  • Women-owned businesses employ eight percent of the total private sector workforce and contribute 4.3 percent of total revenues.
  • It’s not just businesses owned by white women that are growing: The number of firms owned by minority women has grown a whopping 163 percent since 2007.
  • Nearly half of women business owners are between the ages of 45 and 65 (48 percent) and 67 percent are 45 or older.
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