Amy Jackson: Women-owned businesses are on the rise, increasing by 54% nationally. According to the American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business Report, the Peach State leads the nation in this trend.
Leona Barr-Devanport: Atlanta is one of those areas that really is welcoming to entrepreneurship to women in business. One of the things that the southern hospitality just allows people to meet each other easily, it's harder to break into some of those networks in the north.
Amy Jackson: And that southern hospitality push some local entrepreneurs to take a different career direction and start their own business.
Marchet Sparks: I saw an opportunity about four years ago when the real estate market started to take a tumble that was my previous career. I've always wanted to open a little market since my first trip to Paris, and wanted to bring a little bit of that to Atlanta. I found that Atlanta is more assessable, there are lots of resources, there are lots of networking functions, and it's just a very accommodating place for winning.
Amy Jackson: And for others, the colorful Atlanta city scene is what helps make their small business a success.
Diana Hammond: Such a blossoming city for a young artist, every corner there is art on the wall. So you feel it, and it kind of is -- it's an energy in the city, where the art is alive.
Leona Barr-Devanport: We are seeing more younger women start businesses, we are seeing women who are leaving out of corporate America, especially after they've reached their glass ceiling to take their expertise and to utilize it for themselves.
Amy Jackson: And that expertise is helping our local economy. The Atlanta area has about 179,000 women-owned firms that generate 29 billion in annual revenue.
Reporting from Atlanta, this is Amy Jackson!