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Women business owners are optimistic about the year ahead for both their own companies and the overall US economy, according to a recent report from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and

The report was based on data from an annual survey of 306 women in the United States who are members of NAWBO.

Respondents expressed a significant increase in optimism for improved business performance and the overall economic outlook in 2015 compared with 2014, marking a three-year upward trend: 93% of women are optimistic about their business' performance this year, and 90% are optimistic about the economic outlook.

Below, additional key findings from the report.

New Woman-Owned Businesses

Optimism for new woman-owned businesses dropped a bit from last year, though a clear majority of respondents (88%) still predict more women will start a business this year.

Motivators for Starting a Business

Some 29% of respondents say they started their own business because they had an idea they wanted to implement; other motivators include always having wanted to be an entrepreneur (19%), and wanting to solve a specific industry problem (12%).

Motherhood and Business Ownership

Some 30% of respondents say they would definitely recommend that a mother start her own business, 66% would do so with caveats, and 4% would not recommend it.

About the research: The report was based on data from an annual survey of 306 women in the United States who are members of NAWBO.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji