Washington is proving to be a hotbed of opportunity for entrepreneurial women as it ranked ninth in growth of women-owned firms, according to the ninth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

The 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express, is based on data from the United States Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners. The report found that, across the national, state, and metro levels, women-owned businesses have enjoyed double-digit gains over the last five years and today account for nearly half of all businesses.

According to the findings, Washington has an estimated 215,185 women-owned businesses, a 10% increase since 2014.

In addition, Washington ranked sixth in employment vitality, which, according to the report, is measured by employment growth rate and average numbers of employees between 2014 and 2019. And Seattle ranked third among the metropolitan areas showing the highest employment vitality.