Search News: 

Detroit economy driven by women-owned businesses

Mar 7, 2019

From Kyla Carlsen, Small Business, Senior Operations and Finance Manager

11.6 million.

That’s the number of female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses in the United States. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, these businesses are responsible for employing nearly nine million people and creating $1.7 trillion in revenue, reflecting how essential women-owned businesses are to the success of our nation’s economy.

Here at home, the numbers are just as impressive. More than 70 percent of the businesses supported by Motor City Match are women-owned. This gives Detroit a diverse and inclusive small business environment that represents entrepreneurs of all classes and cultures. The result is a rich blend of commercial services from food and apparel to health and education.

Ferne Boutique is a great example of female entrepreneurism. Owner Laura Horwath is a Motor City Match Round 10 awardee and operates her business in the city’s New Center neighborhood. Laura opened her first Ferne Boutique storefront in Bay City, Michigan in 2015. After participating in several Detroit pop-up shops, she was eager to be a part of the city’s revitalization, opening Ferne’s Detroit location this past August. Her story does not end there.

A Detroit advocate, Laura was moved by the many women in Detroit neighborhoods turning their business dreams into reality. To spotlight these exceptional entrepreneurs and community activists, Laura – a website of women-owned businesses in Detroit. Customers are encouraged to patronize these businesses year-round as part of Detroit’s buy local campaign.

“Seeing other women accomplish their dreams of opening up their own storefront has been amazing to witness, especially in a city that is in a revitalization period,” said Laura. “It’s important that we honor women doing their part to lift up neighborhood commerce. is a great way to support these businesses.”

In recognition of International Women’s Day, DEGC is partnering with Detroit Experience Factory to host two Shop Hop Walking Tours on March 8th. These tours feature women-owned businesses in the New Center and Corktown areas.

During the Shop Hop Walking Tours, patrons can expect to visit:

New Center/Midtown Walking Tour: 1 pm – 3 pm

  • Ferne Boutique
  • Urbanum
  • Frida/Peacock Room
  • Nora
  • Source Booksellers

Corktown Walking Tour: 4 pm – 6 pm

  • The Farmer’s Hand
  • Mama Coo’s Boutique, a Motor City Match Round 3 awardee
  • ElDorado General Store
  • George Gregory
  • Brightly Twisted

If you know a Detroit women-owned business or if you own one yourself, please contact so they can be added to the growing list of businesses on

Two things you should know about the DEGC:

  1. This past Tuesday, Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his 2019 State of the City address. Follow the link to watch:
  2. Motor City Match Round 16 and Motor City Re-Store Round 8 applications are open through April 1.

Recent Headlines