A recent article by Stephanie Forshee in the Puget Sound Business Journal explains the rise in female business owners since 2002 and our ranking nationally.


“Not only are the female business owners in Seattle making an impact locally, but the city ranks No. 8 in the country for overall growth among women-owned companies since 2002.

The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express Open, found that Seattle has seen tremendous growth in revenue, the number of firms, and employment in women-owned companies when compared to the other largest metropolitan cities nationwide.

The greater Seattle area has witnessed 70.3 percent growth in total industry sales since 2002. Sales were at about $18.5 billion among women-owned companies in 2012, up from $10.9 billion back in 2002. The number of women-owned firms in Seattle grew from 77,784 in 2002 to 97,600 in 2014.

And with all of the new business came new jobs. As of last year, 102,700 people were employed at women-owned firms, up 42.9 percent from 71,885 in 2002.

Statewide, employment within these companies didn’t experience as much growth, but there was some. In 2014, women-owned firms had 154,200 employees total, whereas going back as far as 1997, there were 139,032 employed. Keep in mind, that number plunged in 2002, dropping to 126,818 employees within women-owned firms. So compared to those leaner times, Washington state has made quite the rebound.

With all of this growth, it’s no wonder that the majority of ListMakers for women-owned businesses don’t see gender as something that has held them back. In a survey, we asked this group of women if it is still a challenge to be a female business owner in 2015. Sixty percent said it is not, and 40 percent responded that it is still a challenge.

But even so, the large majority (65 percent) said that the local support system is only “acceptable.” About 24 percent consider it “strong” and 11 percent called it flat-out “weak.”

As for other cities that were recognized for growth within female-owned businesses, San Antonio ranked No. 1. There was a tie for second between Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston and Portland. Coming in at No. 6 was Washington, D.C. and seventh was Tampa.

Seattle did beat out Dallas and Riverside, Calif. in the Top 10.”

You can check out the entire article here.