Women start businesses for a variety of reasons, including to achieve independence and flexibility in their lives, according to a survey by the National Women's Business Council. Many are mothers who build successful businesses while raising families. "It's really good having friends and other vendors and store owners who believe in what I do," said Margaret Ziegler, who launched her own sign company after becoming a stay-at-home mother. "They love my work and they wouldn't let me quit."

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