Read an excerpt from the article below, and head over to The Wall Street Journal for the full story:

While the growth rate of new businesses remains stalled, fresh government data show the share of women-owned firms has climbed.

The total number of U.S. firms edged up 2% to 27.6 million between 2007 and 2012, according to preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data released this week. But the number of women-owned firms grew much faster, rising 27% during that time.

Women showed big gains in business ownership in the census data, with the share of female-owned firms rising to 36% of all firms in 2012 from 29% in 2007. The number of self-employed women and the number of women running businesses with employees both increased, pushing the total number of women-owned firms to 9.9 million in 2012.

“Women’s entrepreneurial appetites are at an all-time high,” said Carla Harris, chair of the National Women’s Business Council, a nonpartisan federal advisory council, adding that the rate of growth of female-owned businesses is almost four times the rate of businesses owned by men. But women continue to face challenges accessing capital and other obstacles to growth, she said.