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ND first in growth of women-owned firms

FARGO — North Dakota ranks first for growth in number and economic clout of women-owned businesses in a new census-based report.

North Dakota has an estimated 20,700 women-owned firms that employ 21,300 workers and have more than $3.2 million in sales, according to the fourth annual American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

The state’s No. 1 ranking for combined economic clout was based on averaging together rankings for growth in the number, revenues and employment of women-owned firms from 1997 to 2014.

The number of women-owned firms in the state increased nearly 67 percent, ranking the state 13th. Sales increased 175 percent, ranking North Dakota second in growth of firm revenue, the report shows. A 58 percent growth in employment also ranked the state second.

Nationally, there are nearly 9.1 million women-owned firms. They employ 7.9 million workers and have sales of $1.4 trillion, the report said.

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