Women-owned firms outpacing economy

Maryland Watch

March 26, 1997

Women-owned businesses are growing faster than the overall economy in Baltimore and in each of the nation's top 50 metropolitan areas, the National Foundation for Women Business Owners said yesterday.

During the past nine years, the number of women-owned businesses in Baltimore has nearly doubled to 73,300. Employment, too, has nearly doubled, to 128,600. And sales have more than doubled, to $16 billion, the foundation said in a report sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank.

The study, among the first to look at women-owned enterprises in top cities, shows women business owners transforming the face of small business in America, said Lucile Reid, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Bank. Women own eight million businesses nationally.

The bank has earmarked $10 billion in loans over 10 years for women entrepreneurs under its Women's Lending Program.

Top metropolitan areas for women-owned businesses, in number of firms, sales and employment in 1996, were New York, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington. Baltimore ranked 26th.

Pub Date: 3/26/97

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