Wyoming is ranked 42nd in the nation for growth of women-owned businesses since 2007, with a 22 percent increase in that time. That’s compared to a 58 percent increase of women-owned businesses nationwide. But Wyoming still ranks in the top ten for women’s businesses that employ large numbers of people.
A new report commissioned by American Express shows Wyoming tied with Washington state for ninth place on the number of people women-owned businesses employ, or it’s “employment vitality.”
Researcher Geri Stengel said there is a strong representation of rural states in this category, most likely because Wyoming does not have so-called “necessity entrepreneurs;” those are women who can’t find quality employment, so they start their own business.
But Stengel said it also may be because states like California have businesses that take advantage of the efficiencies that technology offer, like working remotely.
“Perhaps in Wyoming, that's not the kind of business, so it could be that you are more agriculture-oriented and that takes more people and they have to be employees,” Stengel said.
Stengel said Wyoming’s population and lack of diversity most likely are the reasons for the difference in the growth of women-owned businesses.
“Wyoming as a state is less diverse than what the country is and the growth is driven primarily by women of color in terms of starting businesses,” she said.
Today there are a little more than 19,000 women-owned businesses in the state.