Mar 19, 2024 - News

Portland's "she-conomy" is growing

Women-owned business openings in the Portland area increased 16% in 2023 compared to 2022, new Yelp data shows.

Why it matters: The trend is more evidence that the "she-conomy" — economic growth attributed to women and marked by the movie "Barbie," Beyoncé's Renaissance tour and Taylor Swift last year — continues to expand.

By the numbers: Nearly 600 women-owned businesses opened up in Portland, Vancouver and Hillsboro in 2023, compared to 512 in 2022.

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

  • Austin (34%), Miami (31%), Washington, D.C. (25%), Denver (25%) and Orlando (22%) saw the highest growth rates among U.S. metros with at least 500 openings in 2023, according to Yelp.

Women are opening more businesses traditionally dominated by men, such as plumbing and HVAC repair, new findings from Yelp reveal.

  • Listings within the home services category created by women grew 38% in 2023 from 2022.

What they're saying: "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.

Zoom in: The Inclusive Business Resource Network and the Portland Small Business Hub offer support to startups, particularly women- and BIPOC-owned businesses.

Portlander Nai Zhao, who runs Charcuterie Me, told Axios she and her two business besties put on their own networking event and 80 women showed up.

  • "Women need to see another person succeeding to believe you can do it too," Zhao said.
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