Apr 24, 2024 - News

Phoenix sees rise in women-owned businesses, falls short of national average

Data: Yelp; Table: Alice Feng/Axios

Phoenix saw a significant increase in openings of women-owned businesses last year, though we lagged behind the national average.

By the numbers: The number of women-owned businesses that opened nationally from 2022 to 2023 increased by 17%, based on Yelp listings for establishments with a "woman-owned business" attribute.

  • In Phoenix, the increase was only 14%.

Zoom in: Suzi Freeman, president of the Phoenix chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, told Axios she's surprised the Valley was below the national average and can't think of a reason that would be the case.

  • Starting a business in Arizona is easy, she said, and the COVID-19 pandemic was a major factor in pushing a lot of women to start their own businesses.
  • "I feel like Arizona should be booming and is booming," said Freeman, who is also the founder and CEO of Teen Warrior Academy.

Between the lines: Freeman said the biggest business growth she's seeing among women entrepreneurs is consulting and coaching.

  • "I think a lot of these women come off their corporate career and they find a way to make that skill a business," she said.
  • She's also seen a rise in "fractional" work, where companies that need corporate officers like a CEO or growth officer but either don't need or can't afford one full-time, so they hire women who offer those services on a part-time basis to numerous companies.

Zoom out: Austin (34%), Miami (31%) and Washington, D.C., (25%) saw the highest growth rates among U.S. metros with at least 500 openings in 2023, according to Yelp.

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