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Woman of the Year

Competitive, compassionate and visionary, today's women business owners refuse to be ignored. Find out how they're making their mark.

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By Entrepreneur Staff

The traditional image of women-owned businesses as small,slow-growing and consumer-directed is being annihilated. They startsmall but grow faster than the overall business expansion rate,selling not just to consumers, but, overwhelmingly, to otherbusinesses. And they sell services just as much as stuff.

Between 1997 and 2002-the most recent figures compiled by theWashington, DC-based Center for Women's Business Research(CWBR)-the number of privately-held businesses owned by women grew11 percent, compared to an overall rate of 6 percent. Women-ownedbusinesses saw their revenues grow by 32 percent in the sameperiod, compared to an overall rate of 24 percent.

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