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You’ve Come A Long Way

Date: 11/23/2005 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

The old Virginia Slims cigarette ads of the 1980’s geared to women definitely sounded like a cliché, but may not be a bad turn of phrase when talking about women and their ever expanding roles in business.

Women-owned businesses have had a significant role in the evolution of the U.S. economy in recent years. Their impact is felt in almost every sector and industry of the economy. In 2004, over 10.6 million firms were at least 50% owned by a woman or women; 48%, nearly half, of all privately-held firms were at least 50% owned by a woman or women. Currently, women-owned firms employ 19.1 million people and generate $2.5 trillion in sales.

The Center for Women’s Business Research provides statistics on state rankings in terms of which states have the most privately-held women-owned firms and which are the fastest growing. Here are the results:

The top 10 states for privately-held, 50% or more women-owned firms, based on an average rank of the number of firms, employment, and sales in 2004 are:
1) California; 2) Texas; 3) Florida; 4) New York; 5) Illinois; 6) Ohio; 7) Michigan and Pennsylvania (tied); 9) North Carolina; and 10) Washington.

The top 10 fastest growing states based on an average rank of 1997 to 2004 growth rates in the number of privately-held, 50% or more women-owned firms, employment, and sales are:
1) Utah; 2) Arizona; 3) Nevada; 4) Idaho; 5) Kentucky and New Mexico (tied); 7) South Carolina; 8) North Carolina; 9) Arkansas; and 10) Oregon.

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