Entrepreneur: Women-Owned Businesses Are Looming Large In North Dakota

By Kari Warberg Block


There’s a whole new breed of female entrepreneurs who are not afraid to get their hands dirty making their mark in male-dominated industries. From farming to construction and engineering to pest control, women are rolling up their sleeves and digging in. And nowhere are they making their presence more known than in the state of North Dakota.

North Dakota may not seem like a hotbed of success, but when it comes to women-owned businesses, no state has better growth, revenues or employment rates. Female-owned businesses have increased by 41.8 percent since 2007. Their companies employ 26,100 people statewide, bringing in over $4.5 billion in sales. Compared to other states, North Dakota-owned businesses start, grow and see healthier profits faster than other states.

In a 2015 “State of Women-Owned Business Report” commissioned by American Express® OPEN – A Summary of Important Trends, 1997-2015, North Dakota ranked no. 1 (combined rank), up from no. 5 in 2012.

There’s something special happening here, maybe North Dakota has a rare kind of female leader — one who leads with a pioneering spirit. Winters that keep a girl hearty, an agricultural focus, and geography are just a few factors that have held North Dakota’s population steady around 600,000 for the better part of a century. But when it comes to business women, the policies and legendary values of the state that’s in the middle of nowhere have become a proven recipe for success.

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