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Economy

What the Boom in Women-Owned Businesses Means for Cities

New research suggests that urban areas could benefit from stepping up to support female entrepreneurship.
Small, independent businesses could be major players in urban economies. Jamyla Bennu launched a natural-hair product business out of the basement of her house in Baltimore.
Small, independent businesses could be major players in urban economies. Jamyla Bennu launched a natural-hair product business out of the basement of her house in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

If a new business were to open in one of the top 25 most populous cities in the United States, it’d be pretty reasonable to guess there was a woman behind it.

A new report from the Center for an Urban Future details the rates of growth for women-owned businesses between 2007 and 2012 in these cities, and the numbers are impressive. Nationally, the average rate of growth for women-owned businesses hit 27 percent, but 24 out of the 25 largest cities surpassed that number. Cities averaged a growth rate of 43 percent; Memphis topped the list with a 116 percent increase in female-owned firms.