Mar 26, 2024 - News

Women are opening more Houston businesses

Data: Yelp; Table: Alice Feng/Axios

Women-owned business openings in Houston increased 16% in 2023 compared with 2022, Axios' Analis Bailey reports from new Yelp data.

By the numbers: 1,793 women-owned businesses opened in Houston in 2023, compared with 1,540 in 2022.

The big picture: Women-owned business openings rose 17% nationwide.

  • Austin saw the highest growth rate (34%) among U.S. metros with at least 500 openings in 2023, according to Yelp.
  • Dallas was in the top five metro areas that saw the highest overall number of new women-owned businesses in 2023, with 1,898.

Go deeper: Houston's Office of Business Opportunity operates programs that dole out tax dollars to minority- and women-owned businesses through city contracts. The program gave out $614 million in city contracts in 2023.

  • A similar Harris County program saw a 32% increase in contracts given to those businesses in the first half of 2023.
  • The city has faced scrutiny over its lack of transparency on the Office of Business Opportunity programs, which haven't been studied since 2006. They're currently undergoing a new study to look at how the programs are shaking out.

Jay's thought bubble: I wanted to take this opportunity to share a gem of a woman-owned business in Houston: Shanquita Greggs' Simply Scents Candle Co. in Third Ward, which infuses intoxicating and unique smells with beautiful and creative molds.

The bottom line: "Whether you attended a women-led stadium tour, adopted a new wellness routine, picked up a new bestselling book, or updated your wardrobe, the 'she-conomy' dominated cultural trends and ultimately drove economic growth," Yelp trend expert Tara Lewis told Axios.

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