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Published March 21, 2012, 10:23 PM

Fargo just part of growing trend of women-owned businesses

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The business community is changing, and more and more women are taking control of their own careers every day. In North Dakota the number of businesses owned by women is estimated at more than 18,000, up 5,000 in the last decade.

The business community is changing, and more and more women are taking control of their own careers every day. In North Dakota the number of businesses owned by women is estimated at more than 18,000, up 5,000 in the last decade.

According to a new study by American Express Open, in the last 15 years the number of women-owned businesses nationwide has jumped a staggering 54%. North Dakota is no different, with an increase of more than 48%. For some local business owners, it's just a sign of the times.

Kimberly Hess – Owner, Prairie Petals: “We're opening businesses and we're women and we're not being judged by that.”

Kimberly Hess started her downtown business Prairie Petals just two years ago. Already, business is booming.

Kimberly Hess: “I do the flowers for the Holiday Inn, the Hotel Donaldson, the Ecce Art and Yoga Studio, and the list goes on.”

She's like many business owners in downtown Fargo. She's a woman. Businesses owned by women are expected to contribute nearly $2.7 billion to the North Dakota economy this year.

Kimberly Hess: “I have lots of support from the business owners down here. I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that I'm a woman, as much as it has to do with the fact I have opened an independent small business.”

From flowers to clothing to food, Bertrosa's downtown has been owned and operated by Lisa Meyers for the past 13 years.

Lisa Meyers – Owner, Bertrosa’s: “Numbers just keep going up and up. We have a full house over lunch hour.”

For Meyers these new statistics are a message to young women everywhere.

Lisa Meyers: “Women can do things just as well as men, and if you're passionate about something, it doesn't matter your gender, if you're passionate about your business, you're going to do good at it.”

Minnesota is seeing numbers go up as well. In the last 15 years, the land of 10,000 lakes has seen a 31% increase in women-owned-businesses. However, that's good for a ranking of 43rd in the nation.

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