NC Business Statistics

Small Business Employment in NC

  • There were an estimated 821,189 small businesses in North Carolina in 2007. There were 179,773 employer businesses, and 98.1% were small (with fewer than 500 employees). Self-employed persons were estimated at 551,040.
  • In 2007, small businesses (those with fewer than 500 workers) employed 47.9% of the state's 3,586,552 non-farm-sector employees.
  • Between 2005-2006, small businesses in North Carolina added a net total of 82,757 employees.
  • SOURCE: US Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, North Carolina Small Business Profile (October 2009)

Women-owned Business Ownership

  • Women-owned businesses totaled 225,503 of which 11.8% (26,612) had employees (as of 2007, the latest year for which these preliminary estimate statistics are available).
  • Women-owned businesses generated an estimated $32 billion in revenues in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
  • In 2008, self-employeed women totaled 155,000, or 32.8% of self-employed workers in North Carolina.
  • SOURCE: US Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, North Carolina Small Business Profile (October 2009)

Minority-owned Business Ownership

  • Minority-owned businesses in North Carolina totaled 131,826 in 2007 (preliminary estimate), the latest date for which these figures are available. This represents a dramatic 66.2% increase and an addition of 52,523 minority-owned businesses in North Carolina to the previous reported total of 79,303 in 2002.
  • North Carolina's minority-owned businesses generated $16.4 billion in revenues in 2007 (preliminary estimate).
  • SOURCES: US Census Bureau, Survey of Business Owners

High-tech Businesses

  • North Carolina employs 155,200 high-tech workers (16th nationally). The high-tech industry gained a net 2,800 new jobs between 2007–2008.
  • High-tech firms in North Carolina employed 46 of every 1,000 private-sector workers in 2008 (25th nationwide).
  • North Carolina’s high-tech workers earned an average wage of $76,800 (21st ranked) – or 95% more than the average private-sector worker’s wage in 2008.
  • North Carolina’s high-tech payroll ($11.9 billion in 2008) ranked 15th nationally.
  • North Carolina ranked 3rd nationally in Computer& Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing Employment with 14,000 jobs (up three spots from previous ranking); 6th in Communications Equipment Manufacturing Employment with 8,000 jobs; and 7th in Computer Training Employment with 700 jobs.
  • SOURCE: Cyberstates 2010, Published by TechAmerica Foundation. All data for 2008 unless otherwise noted.

Investment and R&D Funding

  • The North Carolina District Small Business Administration (SBA) office processed 1,221 small business loans totalling almost $312 million in FY 2010 (33% higher than the previous year).
  • In 2010, venture capital investment increased for the first time since 2007. In North Carolina, venture capitalists invested $456.3 million in 57 deals in 2010.
  • In North Carolina in 2009, the average win rate for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants across all participating agencies was 22.5%, beating the national average of 18.5%. Only four other states had better overall win rates than North Carolina. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) award rate of 35.7% handily beat the 25.1% national NIH win rate. Only three other states had better NIH award win rates.
  • In North Carolina, 94 SBIR and STTR awards were made, a 54.1% increase over the number of awards in 2007. NIH awards represented 57% of all awards made in North Carolina. Total SBIR/STTR awards in North Carolina in 2009 were approximately $55 million, a $43% increase over 2007.
  • SOURCES: 1) North Carolina’s SBA District Office; 2) PwC/NVCA MoneyTree™ Report (based on data from Thomson Reuters); 3) Site Selection magazine (Conway Data, Inc., November 2010); Site Selection magazine surveyed corporate real estate executives and decision makers across the country, and tracked new and expanded business facility activity to determine this.


For more NC business statistics and business rankings, see the NC Annual State of Small Business…