The state of women-owned business

Tennessee came in 17th on a list of the 50 states as ranked by growth in the number of women-owned businesses from 1997 to 2012, with the Volunteer State seeing 56 percent growth in the number of those firms during that period.

That’s according to a new “State of Women-Owned Businesses” report commissioned in March by American Express OPEN.

As of 2012, according to the report, there are more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in theUnited States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing 7.7 million people.

The report is based on published information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Other findings: The number of women-owned firms is currently growing at 1.5 times the national average. Also, while women are starting businesses at a rate higher than the national average, their firms remain smaller than average.

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