While women still face an uphill battle when it comes to breaking the corporate glass ceiling, many women are finding success these days as entrepreneurs, building their own businesses without those ceilings to hold them down. The growth rate of women-owned businesses has climbed steadily, even as they continue to face challenges with getting the financing and other assistance they need to succeed. However, there's no doubt that women entrepreneurs are, as a group, innovative and highly successful.
"Look at women in business today, and you see a distinct new generation of Entrepreneurs. They are experienced, educated and have an appetite for growth." – Julie Weeks, Director of Research, Center for Women's Business Research. The 90's marked the start of the phenomenal growth rate of businesses started by and owned by women. In an a report released by the Center for Women's Business Research the latest data reported in "Key Facts about Women-Owned Business-a 2007 Update" shows that for the past two decades majority women-owned firms have continued to grow at around two times the rate of all other firms. Between 1997 and 2006 the number of privately held firms by women of color grew five times faster than all private held firms. Women-owned firms account for 41% of all privately held firms, employed more than 12.8 million people and generate $1.9 trillion in sales. Three percent of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more compared with 6% of men-owned firms. Women-owned firms with revenues of $1 million or more are more likely to market their products and services nationally. The largest share of women-owned firms is in the service sector. More than two-thirds (69.0 %) of these firms (5.3 million) are in services; 14.4% (1.1 million) are in the retail trade; and 7.7% (0.6 million) are in real estate, rental and leasing. From 1997 to 2006, the greatest growth among 51% or more women-owned firms has been in