25 Top Women Business Builders

Women Thinking Out Loud


You know the party line about women today: They’re “opting out” of business, fleeing the confines of the corporation in droves, unwilling (or unable?) to make it in the big leagues. But if all these smart, ambitious, experienced women are leaving, we wondered, where are they going?

Turns out that while many left corporate America, they’ve hardly left business behind. What they’re doing is striking out on their own, launching companies at a higher rate than any other group. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, from 1997 to 2004, the number of women-owned businesses grew twice as fast as all businesses in the United States. One in 18 adult women in the United States is a business owner. Women-owned companies generate $2.5 trillion in annual sales and employ nearly 20 million people.

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