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Houston ranked one of the best places to be a businesswoman: Southern belles dominate list

How far have women in the workplace come? Gone are the days when "working girl" meant a prostitute — now it's just a reference to a pretty awesome '80s movie. That's what I call progress.

OK, a better measure of progress? Women now own 8.3 million businesses in the United States which earn a combined $1.3 trillion in revenue.

According to Forbes, Houston is one of the best places to be a businesswoman — especially one that wants to be her own boss. H-Town was ranked No. 2 on its list of "Best Cities for Female Entrepreneurs," second only to New York.

Despite stereotypes about antiquated gender roles in the South, the dominance of Southern cities like Houston, Dallas (No. 3), Atlanta (No. 5), San Antonio (No. 15), and Washington, D.C., led Forbes to declare that Southern belles are "killing it" when it comes to starting successful businesses. Especially in Texas.

"According to the AMEX OPEN 2012 State of Women-Owned Business Report, Texas is in the top fastest-growing states for female led firms (with Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Mississippi keeping it company). Combined, the sister cities boast more than 355,000 women-owned firms that pull in upwards of $66 million each year. Add San Antonio — the No. 15 Best City for Women In Business that boasts an impressive 67.1% growth in women’s businesses — to the mix and you’re looking at $87 million. In Texas, bigger (business) is definitely a sign of success."

As the second-ranked city, Houston boasted more than 167,000 women-owned firms, with growth of 42.4 percent women-owned companies since 1997. SBA-approved loans to women-owned companies totaled more than $31 million in 2011-2012, with revenues by those companies topping $35 million.

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