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Wild, Wild West

Wait! The gold rush isn't over yet!

A new study underscores the old adage that the most important thing in business is location, location, location.

In the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas, the number of women-owned firms has increased 33 to 59 percent in the past seven years, according to a 1999 report by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO).

Bruce Rosenthal of NFWBO attributes the overall growth to several factors: the strong economy; an exodus of women from corporate America; more women entrepreneurs who serve as role models to their friends, sisters and mothers; and the increasing amount of data available on women entrepreneurs. "Information empowers women and makes them realize business ownership is a viable career option," says Rosenthal.

The booming high-tech industry on the West Coast, in particular, has drawn large numbers of women entrepreneurs to the area. Michael Evans, director of real estate services for Ernst & Young LLP, points out that many West Coast women, especially in areas like Silicon Valley and the Microsoft-centric Washington state, opt to leave high-tech companies to create firms of their own.

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This article was originally published in the December 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Wild, Wild West.

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