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This State Takes 1st Place in Women-Owned Business Growth

This State Takes 1st Place in Women-Owned Business Growth
American Express reports annually on the growth of women-owned businesses. In it's "2015 Women-Owned Businesses Report," it revealed that women-owned firms now represent 30 percent of all businesses, and they are growing at a rate faster than any other businesses. But one state reports a growth rate that is higher than in any other U.S. state. Can you guess what it is?

Mississippi takes the lead

To appreciate the extent of growth among women-owned businesses in Mississippi requires a review of overall growth rates in general. Small U.S. businesses in general increased by 51 percent between 1997 and 2015. During this same period, the number of women-owned companies increased by 74 percent. But in the state of Mississippi, women-owned businesses increased by 87 percent, according to information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

How does Mississippi do it?

Mississippi seems to have a strong support system to help women who want to own their own business. Anna Claire Heindl, a pharmacist who owns Olde Towne Drugs, pays tribute to Hinds Community College Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center for their role in providing her the guidance she needed to open her own pharmacy.

Another Mississippi business owner, Marissa Simms, who owns Royal Bleau Boutique, emphasizes the importance of education. As she explained, "Educating yourself is the most pivotal thing before going into business." Simms attended seminars at the University of Southern Mississippi Small Business Development Center and sought more advice through the JSU Small Business Development Center to prepare for going into business for herself.

The Mississippi Development Authority also has a Minority and Small Business Division that offers women and other small business owners get access to important networking opportunities.

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