Tampa Bay is third in the nation among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas for entrepreneurs, according to LinkedIn's State of Entrepreneurship report.
The three fastest-growing areas for entrepreneurs are in Florida: Metro Orlando saw 46% growth in new businesses year over year, which was the best in the country. It was followed by Miami (No. 2), which saw 45% growth, and Tampa Bay (No. 3), at 43%, according to the report.
The Florida trio is followed by Houston (No. 4 with 41% growth) and the Dallas-Fort Worth area (No. 5 with 40% growth).
The report defined entrepreneurs as anyone on LinkedIn who self-identified as having a founder or owner role in a company or small business that had less than 500 employees within two months of operation. Company formation rates were analyzed and compared between the July 2018-19 pre-pandemic period and the July 2020-21 mid-pandemic period.
The top industries for entrepreneurs in Tampa are software and information technology services, media and communication, and health care, according to LinkedIn.
This comes as no surprise with the expansion of technology, cryptocurrency, investing and health care throughout the Bay area.
Meanwhile, the number of women-owned businesses grew across the country during the pandemic. In the time period analyzed, there was a 27% surge nationally in women-founded companies. That compares to just a 17% increase in both male-founded and non-binary-founded businesses. In the U.S. retail industry, women-founded companies increased 81% year over year.
However, only 18% of new startups in Florida have a female founder, down from 23% in 2019, according to a report by Tampa-based innovation hub Embarc Collective. And there still is a gap in venture capital funding for startups led by women.
Nationally, new business applications jumped 24% in 2020 compared to 2019. Preceding that increase was a 40-year decline in entrepreneurship. The pandemic catalyzed the formation of new businesses across the country, which LinkedIn says could be due to widespread layoffs, more free time or flexibility with remote work.
The full report can be found here.