While the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 68 percent nationally since 1997, Wisconsin has lagged behind with just 36.6 percent growth, according to the recent American Express OPEN State the of Women-Owned Businesses Report.
The slower growth has ranked the state 40th when compared to other U.S. states. Growth of firm revenue is also behind, at 47.7 percent, in 43rd place.
Wisconsin had 89,284 women-owned firms in 1997, employing 146,450 people and totaling sales of more than $15 million. Today, there are 122,000 women-owned firms, employing 155,500 people and reporting total sales of more than $23 million.
Among the states with the lowest combined economic clout for women-owned firms—the average of rankings in growth in number, revenues and employment among women-owned businesses from 1997 to 2014—Wisconsin is tied with Kentucky at 46.