Women-owned businesses have been an ongoing American success story since 1997. In a comprehensive study commissioned by American Express OPEN, the data from the last 17 years shows that women are not only starting their own businesses at a high rate, but that those businesses tend to be more successful than those enterprises owned by men.

The study examined data on start-ups, employment and profitability. It analyzed the information by state and metropolitan area, by industry, and by race. It compared women-owned businesses to other privately held companies and to publicly held companies. It was when compared against the latter that the women-owned businesses didn't fare quite as well in terms of employment and financial results.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.