Like Mother, Like Daughter

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They're already the champions of national and state economies. Now, according to the latest study by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO), we're discovering that entrepreneurial women dominate economic growth in America's top 50 metropolitan areas as well. Women-owned firms in these metropolitan statistical areas total nearly 4 million, employ 9.8 million workers, and generate $1.3 trillion in sales. Between 1987 and 1996, these women-owned businesses grew faster than businesses in general, sometimes by as much as 2.2 to 1.

"For the first time, we have current information on women in these metropolitan areas,' says Sharon Hadary, executive director of NFWBO. "And we're seeing tremendous growth rates. In some of these cities, the number of women-owned businesses has gone up by as much as 131 percent in the last nine years.' Today, more than half the number, sales, and workers employed by women-owned firms overall sprout from these 50 cities.

What's more, the skyrocketing growth in the number of women-owned businesses is being surpassed by their growth in sales and employment, indicating a second trend: "Women-owned businesses,' says Hadary, "are getting larger and more sophisticated."

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This article was originally published in the August 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Like Mother, Like Daughter.

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