Women-owned businesses growing in Connecticut

Connecticut businesses owned by women soared in the past decade, held back only by the state's overall slow economic growth.

Since the late 1990s, growth in Connecticut businesses owned by women far outpaced their national counterparts in overall revenues and number of employees. The state's women businesses only lagged in total number of firms, which isn't surprising given Connecticut lags behind the rest of the nation in new business starts, regardless of the gender of the owner.

The state's women entrepreneurs benefitted from the existence of business support groups, friendly public policy and an atmosphere of inclusiveness, said Julie Weeks, research advisor for American Express OPEN, which studied trends in women-owned businesses.

"What we are seeing now is that starting your own business is the best way to entrepreneurial independence," said Fran Pastore, CEO of the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford. "When women become entrepreneurs, they become players in their community, they become change-makers."
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