Location, location, location.
Where you decide to plant your roots can play an important role in the success of your business.
For entrepreneurs of color who face systemic barriers like a lack of funding and a disproportionate impact during times of economic crisis, choosing the right location to start a business is particularly important. Your location affects everything from the resources available to you to real estate costs to how you are able to attract and retain talent.
So where are the best places for minority business owners to set up shop? JobSage wanted to find out.
- Percentage of startups (businesses less than two years old) in the metro that are minority-owned
- Total number of minority-owned startups
- Total number of employees at minority-owned startups
- Minority-owned startup parity index, which compares the representation of business ownership to the overall minority population share
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups
JobSage also considered resources and support available to minority entrepreneurs.
10 best cities for entrepreneurs of color
St. Louis, Missouri
The Gateway to the West is home to diverse business owners across industries like real estate, tech, fashion, food service, retail, and more.
St. Louis has one of the highest rankings on our parity index, meaning that the city’s minority population is proportionally represented in business ownership. Though minority groups only make up 26.3% of the city’s population, 25% of startups are minority-owned.
Programs such as the St. Louis Diverse Business Accelerator help ethnically and racially diverse business owners in the Greater St. Louis area grow their business and succeed.
St. Louis quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 25.03%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $193,558,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 2,279
Fresno, California is the smallest metro area on our list with a population of just over one million residents. Nevertheless, minority-owned startups in this diverse area generated over $675 million in sales and employed over 5,000 people.
Organizations like the Asian Business Institute & Resource Center, Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation provide resources, education, funding opportunities, and more for entrepreneurs in the Central Valley.
Fresno quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 38.02%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $678,890,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 754
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the third Texas metropolitan area to make our list with nearly one-third of the city’s startups belonging to minority entrepreneurs. This number is expected to climb as San Antonio’s Hispanic and Black populace continue to grow.
San Antonio business owners can take advantage of organizations such as the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio MBDA Business Center, and the Business Empowerment Program to help them succeed.
San Antonio quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 30.86%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $1,076,705,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 1,675
Theme parks may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Orlando, but this Central Florida city has more to offer than thrill rides and meet-and-greets with your favorite characters. About 80% of the metro’s employment is actually outside of hospitality and tourism in industries like advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, digital media, and fintech.
From accelerator programs like Black Orlando Tech to organizations like the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, there are numerous resources that minority entrepreneurs can take advantage of.
Orlando quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 23.39%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $920,034,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 2,279
With key industries ranging from financial and professional services to logistics to health and bioscience technology, Baltimore provides ample opportunities for entrepreneurs. The city, which is nestled along the economically-thriving Washington, DC — Boston corridor, saw over $750 million in annual minority-owned startup sales, according to the Census Bureau’s data.
The City of Baltimore is a big proponent of fostering the development of minority-owned businesses. The Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development provides support and networking opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. Other organizations, such as the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce and Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, also exist to promote the growth and prosperity of minority-owned companies.
Baltimore quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 22.36%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $764,077,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 1,460
San Jose, California
San Francisco may be the city that comes to mind when you think of entrepreneurship, but minority business owners have been making strides in the San Jose-Santa Clara-Sunnyvale metro area. Data shows that 46% of startups in the area are minority-owned businesses, bringing in over $1.8 billion in annual sales.
Resources like the San Jose MBDA Business Center, Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley strive to promote the economic development of minority-owned local businesses in the San Jose area.
San Jose quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 46.01%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $1,808,320,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 2,796
While D.C. may be known as the hub for government and politics, the city and the surrounding metro offers so much more. The nation’s capital is also home to thriving minority-owned startups that bring in over $2.4 billion in annual sales across industries such as tech, hospitality, and cybersecurity.
Resources like the Greater Washington, D.C. Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, Latino Economic Development Center, and National Association of Asian American Professionals provide resources and development opportunities for minority-owned businesses and professionals.
Washington, D.C. quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 29.23%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $2,480,180,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 4,599
Though the city isn’t traditionally recognized for its diversity, a recent study revealed Seattle as one of the fastest-diversifying large cities over the past decade. Minority-owned business growth is also following an upward trend, with the number of minority-owned startups and annual sales at minority-owned startups ranking within the top five of the cities JobSage analyzed.
Seattle and Washington State have a wealth of resources and funding opportunities for minority entrepreneurs, many of which can be found on the Washington State Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises website.
Seattle quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 22.66%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $1,576,032,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 2,937
In the Lone Star State, Houston is known as being a melting pot of cultures, races, and ethnicities. In 2020, the city ranked as one of the most racially diverse big cities in America, according to U.S. News and World Report. This diversity is reflected in the city’s businesses, which generate over $3 billion annually.
Houston quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 30.45%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $3,145,123,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 5,599
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is home to thriving industries including manufacturing, technology, food, hospitality, and healthcare. Of the cities on this list, the DFW area has the highest number of annual sales at minority-owned start-ups, as well as the highest number of people employed by minority-owned startups.
Entrepreneurs in Dallas can take advantage of the support and resources provided by organizations such as the Asian Chamber of Texas, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, and Impact Ventures.
Dallas-Fort Worth quick stats
- Percentage of startups that are minority-owned: 24.12%
- Annual sales at minority-owned startups: $3,382,747,000
- Total number of minority-owned startups: 5,190
Who is JobSage?
At JobSage, we’re setting out to build an employer review site around things that matter most to jobseekers— inclusion, growth, purpose, feedback, flexibility, and compensation. We want to help you find the right employer by getting answers to the questions you care about. Join JobSage for guidance in your job search or to leave a review for your current employer to create a more open, transparent conversation in and around the workplace.