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Friday, April 1, 2011 - 12:20pm

Ga. No.1 In Women-Owned Business Growth

A new report ranks Georgia first in the growth of women-owned businesses.

Researchers looked at business growth over the last 14 years.

The study was commissioned by American Express and uses Census data.

It says, nationally, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 50%, while the number of men-owned businesses has grown by half that.

Georgia leads among women owners at 97% growth.

Roz Lewis of the Atlanta-based Greater Women's Business Council says, a lot has changed since 1997, especially with the current recession.

"You have corporations that have downsized and so people now are taking ownership of their livelihoods and going into business," Lewis says. "They always might have thought of opening their own business and now this has provided that opportunity for them."

Still, women showed no progress in the highest levels of business.

They also stagnated in the share of overall jobs and revenue.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration, for the first time, opened a program for federal contracts to women-owned businesses.

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