Report: Oakland County has Largest Number of Microbusinesses in Michigan

Right to Start, a national nonprofit organization championing entrepreneurship as a civic priority, has unveiled new data on entrepreneurship in Michigan, providing a snapshot county by county.
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Oakland County, including the city of Southfield (pictured) has largest number of microbusinesses in Michigan. // Stock photo

Right to Start, a national nonprofit organization championing entrepreneurship as a civic priority, has unveiled new data on entrepreneurship in Michigan, providing a snapshot county by county.

The data shows the presence of microbusinesses across the state and highlights the national economic impact on employment. The findings come from Venture Forward, an ongoing research initiative by GoDaddy that analyzes the impact of more than 20 million online microbusinesses.

Venture Forward states it provides a unique view into the attitudes, demographics, and needs of these entrepreneurs.

The data is based on the 541,666 microbusinesses (often with 10 or fewer employees) in Michigan that have a digital presence (measured by a unique domain and an active website).

It reveals the number of microbusinesses in the state grew 8.8 percent (from 500,583) since August 2019. It also indicates Michigan counties average about seven microbusinesses per 100 people.

Across the United States, Venture Forward research shows that about seven new jobs are created by each microbusiness entrepreneur on a county level.

The 15 Michigan counties with the largest number of microbusinesses per 100 people are:

  1. Oakland: 18.9
  2. Grand Traverse: 12.4
  3. Kent: 8.8
  4. Washtenaw: 7.8
  5. Emmet: 7.7
  6. Leelanau: 7.0
  7. Charlevoix: 6.6
  8. Livingston: 6.4
  9. Ingham: 6.3
  10. Ottawa: 5.9
  11. Mason: 5.8
  12. Antrim: 5.7
  13. Macomb: 5.6
  14. Wayne: 5.6
  15. Kalamazoo: 5.3

“This snapshot of entrepreneurship in Michigan shows both the activity already in place and the opportunity ahead,” says Victor W. Hwang, founder and CEO of Right to Start in Overland Park, Kansas. “Michigan can build on the level of entrepreneurship that is already in place to become a national leader in future entrepreneurial innovation.”

GoDaddy makes this and other data on entrepreneurship available free to the public through its  Venture Forward website, supporting entrepreneurs and their advocates through unique and timely data.

For more information, contact Henry Miller at hmiller@highimpactpartnering.com.

Right to Start is a national nonpartisan organization designed to advance entrepreneurship as a civic priority throughout the United States. Its campaign is conducted through two affiliated nonprofit organizations, a 501(c)3 and 501(c)4.

Michigan’s 83 Counties and the Number of Microbusinesses Per 100 People

  • Alcona County: 1.8 microbusinesses per 100 people
  • Alger: 4.0
  • Allegan: 3.3
  • Alpena: 2.7
  • Antrim: 5.7
  • Arenac: 2.1
  • Baraga: 1.5
  • Barry: 2.5
  • Bay: 2.7
  • Benzie: 5.1
  • Berrien: 5.0
  • Branch: 3.2
  • Calhoun: 2.9
  • Cass: 2.6
  • Charlevoix: 6.6
  • Cheboygan: 2.3
  • Chippewa: 1.9
  • Clare: 2.4
  • Clinton: 4.1
  • Crawford: 2.0
  • Delta: 2.5
  • Dickinson: 2.7
  • Eaton: 4.7
  • Emmet: 7.7
  • Genesee: 4.4
  • Gladwin: 1.8
  • Gogebic: 2.7
  • Grand Traverse: 12.4
  • Gratiot: 1.9
  • Hillsdale: 2.6
  • Houghton: 3.9
  • Huron: 3.0
  • Ingham: 6.3
  • Ionia: 3.8
  • Iosco: 2.6
  • Iron: 1.4
  • Isabella: 3.0
  • Jackson: 3.2
  • Kalamazoo: 5.3
  • Kalkaska: 3.1
  • Kent: 8.8
  • Keweenaw: 2.1
  • Lake: 1.9
  • Lapeer: 3.4
  • Leelanau: 7.0
  • Lenawee: 4.9
  • Livingston: 6.4
  • Luce: 3.6
  • Mackinac: 4.5
  • Macomb: 5.6
  • Manistee: 3.3
  • Marquette: 5.2
  • Mason: 5.8
  • Mecosta: 4.1
  • Menominee: 2.4
  • Midland: 4.3
  • Missaukee: 2.5
  • Monroe: 2.9
  • Montcalm: 2.2
  • Montmoren: 3.1
  • Muskegon: 3.1
  • Newaygo: 3.7
  • Oakland: 18.9
  • Oceana: 3.1
  • Ogemaw: 1.8
  • Ontonagon: 1.5
  • Osceola: 2.5
  • Oscoda: 2.3
  • Otsego: 5.1
  • Ottawa: 5.9
  • Presque Isle: 1.5
  • Roscommon: 4.3
  • Saginaw: 4.0
  • St. Clair: 3.9
  • St. Joseph: 2.7
  • Sanilac: 2.6
  • Schoolcraft: 2.5
  • Shiawassee: 2.8
  • Tuscola: 2.2
  • Van Buren: 3.8
  • Washtenaw: 7.8
  • Wayne: 5.6
  • Wexford: 3.5