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This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In addition to publishing Entrepreneur, we also publish a magazine (available on the newsstand only) called Entrepreneur's Be Your Own Boss. It comes out three times a year and is targeted to the start-up audience. For several years, we've seen the newsstand sales of B.Y.O.B. steadily rise. The last two issues have sold extraordinarily well at bookstores across the country. What this says to me, hopeless Pollyanna that I am, is that the number of business start-ups may start rising as well.

As I've said so many times before, the last time the economy was in such a funk, it was the millions of Americans who started their companies in the early and mid-'90s that snapped us out of it. Let's look at some numbers: From 1990 to 1991, the number of new firms decreased nearly 7 percent. The number of new incorporations declined 5 percent. In 1992, however, the number of new incorporations was on the rise--increasing almost 7 percent. And, while not quite keeping up that phenomenal pace, new incorporations continued to increase throughout the decade. Similarly, the number of businesses owned by women grew about 27 percent from 1990 to 1998.

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