As we approach the new year, a study finds the past few years have been exceptional for growth in women-owned businesses in Iowa. Julie Weeks, research director for the Center for Women’s Business Research, says women-owned businesses grew 7% in Iowa since 1997. The national average was 14%, but the employment and revenue growth of women-owned firms in Iowa grow more rapidly than the national average. The study by the Washington D-C-based Center finds women-owned firms in Iowa employ more than 95,000 people and generate more than 12-billion dollars a year in sales. The center projects there will be nearly 62,000 women-owned businesses in Iowa during 2002; that’s about 29% of all Iowa busineses. Weeks says women are breaking the glass ceilings in many industries that were once considered nontraditional for their sex, and she adds, there really AREN’T non-traditional industries for women any more. The greatest growth for women-owned firms is in industries including construction, agricultural services and transportation. The study finds 33% employment growth in women-owned firms since 1997 in Iowa, compared to 30% nationally. Also, it finds a 49% growth in revenue for those firms in Iowa versus 40% nationally.
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