There are currently about 120,600 women-owned businesses in Louisiana, or about 50,000 more than there were in 1997—a rise of 71%. That’s according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned and released today by American Express OPEN. The report, which is based on U.S. Census data, shows the number of women-owned businesses in Louisiana grew at a slightly faster rate than in the U.S. at large since 1997. The 9,087,200 women-owned businesses estimated to be operating in America currently represents a 68% increase from the roughly 5.4 million in operation 17 years ago. Women-owned U.S. businesses have increased employment 11% over that time frame and sales have risen 72% to $1.4 billion. In Louisiana, women-owned businesses have increased their annual sales by 144% to an estimated $27.9 million this year. However, employment among Louisiana firms owned by women has fallen 7% since 1997. “The report clearly shows that women are choosing the path of entrepreneurship at record rates,” says Randi Schochet, an American Express OPEN vice president, in a press release, which includes more data on women-owned businesses. — Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
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