Women-owned businesses in Connecticut are growing at less than half the national rate according to a new report released this week by American Express.

The 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report puts the number of women-owned businesses in the state at 112,460, up 2% from a year ago and 46th for growth in the U.S.

Women-owned business growth 2018-2019

Those Connecticut businesses employ 112,460 employees, an increase of 0.5% over 2018, while annual sales grew 1.8% to $16.5 billion.

Nationally, the number of firms grew 5.4% to 12.9 million—42% of all businesses—while employment rose 1.1%, and sales jumped 20.8% to $1.9 trillion.

American Express defines women-owned businesses as at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more females.

Economic Impact

"The economic impact of women-owned businesses is undeniable, from the trillions they contribute via revenue to the millions of jobs they provide," said American Express vice president Courtney Kelso.

"The face of entrepreneurship is evolving to include all women, regardless of demographics."

Since 2014, Connecticut ranks 44th in women-owned business growth (up 4.2%), 38th in job growth (1.1%), and 47th for sales growth (3.8%).

Women-owned businesses performed better than the national average for all businesses over the last five years.

Nationally, the number of women-owned firms rose 21% during that period, with employment up 7.9% and sales climbing 20.8%.

Women-owned businesses performed better in all three categories—often by significant margins—than the national average for all businesses over the last five years.


The growth of women-owned firms is more than double the rate for all companies, with employment growing at over four times and sales a percentage point higher.

"Women-owned businesses are driving economic growth in the United States," the report noted.

Georgia, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and South Dakota were the top five states for company, job, and revenue growth, while Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alaska, and North Dakota had the slowest growth.

Half of all women-owned businesses in the U.S. are concentrated in three industries—other services (22%), healthcare and social assistance (15%), and professional, scientific, and technical services (13%).