When it comes to the growth of women-owned businesses, New Jersey ranks 30th in the nation.

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That's according to a new report by American Express OPEN. The number of women-owned companies grew by 15.2 percent from 2002 to 2007, but only by 4.7 percent since then. Meanwhile, the number of women-owned businesses nationwide grew 20 percent from 2002 to 2007 and 10.6 percent in the period since then.

"I'm not really sure what's going on in New Jersey in particular. I think that the numbers could be a result of the economy and the sectors that women-owned businesses tend to be in such as educational services," said Terri Boyer, executive director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers. "In those instances, educational services have definitely seen a lack of growth in the last few years. So, that may be something that is specific to New Jersey."

Most women-owned businesses are on the smaller side, so while women are generally attracted to the health care industry which is doing pretty well in New Jersey, it is generally the larger businesses that are doing well.

"New Jersey still has a significant number of women-owned businesses which is good, but the lack of growth is a little concerning," said Boyer. "We know from our research that women-owned businesses are a great way for women to find the sorts of workplaces that are more accommodating to their needs and more supportive of their growth, which they don't typically find in those bigger companies that are more male-dominated."

New Jersey also has many friendly policies towards women and women-owned businesses.

"I'm not sure where we're lacking in New Jersey. The sorts of things that help women-owned businesses are the incentives to help small companies get started, which include support for entrepreneurship development and access to resources that can help with initial investments."

"New Jersey usually does very well with those types of things. Maybe, improving outreach on such topics would help," said Boyer.