Virginia: One Of The Best States For Black Entrepreneurs

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Fueling Success: The Top States for Black Entrepreneurs in 2023

Virginia is one of the best states for black entrepreneurs in 2023, according to a new report by small business software and services review site Merchant Maverick.


They compared the states using seven relevant metrics. Each state was given a score out of 100 for each metric, with the top-ranked state earning a perfect 100 and the lowest-ranked state receiving a score of 0. The overall score for each state was then determined by multiplying the individual metric scores by specific weights.

Four key metrics, namely black-owned employer businesses per capita, the percent of the workforce employed by black-owned businesses, the average annual payroll of black-owned businesses, and the average annual income of black business owners, collectively accounted for 75% of the overall score.

The remaining 25% of the overall score was determined by three additional metrics: cost-of-living, unemployment rate, and state income rate. Data for this analysis was sourced from the US Census Bureau’s 2020 Annual Business Survey, the US Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey, the Tax Foundation, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The best state for black entrepreneurs this year was Maryland, with an overall score of 78.8:

Merchant Maverick’s take on the state:

“Maryland has consistently ranked highly on Merchant Maverick’s list of best states for Black business owners, but this year it’s leading our charts thanks to its high concentration of Black-owned businesses at 1,090 per million (1st), and percentage of its workforce (1st) employed at Black-owned businesses. Black-business owners in Maryland earn an average annual income of $70,378 (3rd) and control an average annual payroll of $420,000 (8th). These factors more than offset Maryland’s high cost of living (43rd).”

Virginia is the 4th best state for black entrepreneurs this year, with an overall score of 70.4:

“In Virginia, where roughly 20% of the population is Black, Black-owned businesses are flourishing. Despite higher-than-average income taxes and a moderately high cost of living, Virginia ranks well overall due to its high number of Black-owned businesses per capita (732, or 3rd in the country) and its relatively high percentage of the workforce employed by Black-owned businesses (1.85% or 5th highest nationally). This Mid-Atlantic state also benefits from a low unemployment rate, clocking in at just 3.0%.”

Virginia boasts a robust economic environment, setting the stage for entrepreneurial success. With a diverse industry landscape and a growing economy, the state offers a fertile ground for business growth. The presence of key industries and a strong market contribute to a favorable climate for aspiring entrepreneurs.

One key factor that distinguishes Virginia is its commitment to supporting black entrepreneurs through targeted policies and initiatives. The state has implemented a number of programs designed to reduce barriers and create an environment where entrepreneurs of all backgrounds can flourish.

Access to resources is crucial for entrepreneurial success, and Virginia excels in providing a supportive infrastructure. From funding opportunities to mentorship programs and networking events, the state ensures that black entrepreneurs have the resources they need to turn their ideas into thriving businesses.

While Virginia has made significant strides, it’s essential to acknowledge and address any existing challenges. By identifying these challenges and working collectively to overcome them, the state can further enhance its support for black entrepreneurs and create an even more inclusive business ecosystem.

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