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Women-owned businesses increase 59% since 1997, study says

April 05, 2013|By Adolfo Flores
  • Nina Chavez, an associate technical designer for e-commerce website Nasty Gal, holds samples at the company's headquarters in downtown Los Angeles in August 2012. Nasty Gal was founded by Sophia Amoruso and is one of 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., according to a report by American Express Open.
Nina Chavez, an associate technical designer for e-commerce website Nasty… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

The number of businesses owned by women in the United States has increased 59% since 1997, according to an estimate from American Express.

Those 8.6 million firms are generating more than $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing nearly 7.8 million people, according to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express Open, a small-business arm of the company.

California leads the nation with an estimated 1.1 million businesses owned by women, employing 983,000 people and generating about $198 million in sales, according to the report.

One in three of those were minority-owned, researchers said.

The report is based on data from a U.S. Census Bureau survey of businesses conducted every five years. American Express used information from 1997, 2002 and 2007 surveys to predict the 2013 figures.

Although the number of women-owned businesses continues to grow, the report said, they employ only 6% of the nation's workforce and generate just under 4% of business revenue, about the same as in 1997.

The highest concentrations of women-owned businesses were in the areas of health and social assistance, educational services and administrative support.

Women-owned firms in construction, transportation and finance didn’t do as well, the study said.

The states with the fastest growth of women-owned businesses were Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana and Nevada. Alaska, West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio and Kansas had the slowest growth.

Quiz: How well do you remember 2012?

California is the only state that has 1 million or more women-owned firms, according to the report. Texas was ranked second with an estimated 737,000 businesses.

In Los Angeles, the number of women-owned businesses grew from 345,436 in 2002 to an estimated 432,300 in 2013. Researchers believe that they employ 394,600 people in 2013, up from 345,436 in 2002.

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adolfo.flores@latimes.com

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