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Business Newspaper Publisher Begins Local Sites Aimed at Women

American City Business Journals Inc., a publisher of metropolitan business newspapers and the bizjournals online division, is targeting businesswomen with a new Web effort serving their needs.

The Charlotte, NC, company launched 41 local market Web sites and a national portal at www.bizwomen.com. Each site has local news, applications, tools, networking resources and ads for women business owners and operators, particularly those in small business.

“This is not necessarily a revenue-generating vehicle for us,” said Kathleen Stockham, vice president of segment marketing at American City Business Journals. “It's the result of what we're seeing in the growth of the women's business segment. Hopefully, they'll start subscribing to a City Journal, and that is the underlying goal — creating a whole new loyal group of subscribers.”

That said, the publisher aims to garner revenue from listings. It will charge a $35.99 annual fee for a listing in the Bizwomen Directory. Calendar listings are $29.95 a month. Nonprofits list events for free.

Only female-owned businesses and companies where that gender represents 75 percent of the leadership are eligible for listings in the directory. City Journal subscribers will have access to all the Bizwomen directories, a move meant to help networking and generate leads nationwide.

Bizwomen online membership offers other benefits. They include local business news and features, profiles, weekly networking tips and e-mails, local organizational resources and, of course, access to the calendar and directories.

Office Depot, Delray Beach, FL, is a corporate sponsor of Bizwomen. Women Impacting Public Policy, a nonprofit lobby representing 430,000 women business owners and entrepreneurs on Capitol Hill, is the site's national partner.

Women are gaining a larger say in business, according to findings from the Center for Women's Business Research reported in the New York-based Multicultural Marketing News newsletter.

For example, 10.1 million firms, or nearly half of all firms in the United States, are at least partly owned by a woman or women, the market researcher said. From 1997 to 2002, the number of privately held majority- or 50 percent-owned women businesses grew 11 percent. This is more than 1 1/2 times the rate of all privately held firms.

In other statistics, one in 11 adult women owns a business, and more than 18 million workers are employed by a woman business owner. One in seven workers is employed by a woman-owned business. One in five women-owned businesses is owned by a woman or women of color.

Also important, 86 percent of women business owners use the same products and services at home as they do in businesses. All told, women entrepreneurs generate about $2.3 trillion in revenue, or roughly one-fourth of the U.S. economy.

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