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Why is it that some women never look beyond the term "small-business owner"?

This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you had asked a class full of children 20 or 30 years ago what they wanted to be when they grew up, boys would probably have yelled "President!" while girls might have quietly said "A teacher." While the answers today might be different, a look at entrepreneurs makes you wonder if the mentality has changed. Do women owners limit themselves by not thinking big enough?

Business consultant Aileen Gorman says that, with only a few exceptions, women entrepreneurs do not envision their companies as huge corporations. Executive director of the Boston, Massachusetts-based Commonwealth Institute, which helps women grow their businesses, Gorman attributes this lack of vision to a lack of good advisors. Consulting outsiders, Gorman says, often helps a woman recognize her firm's potential.

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