This week, Kauffman Foundation announced the launch of “Women in Science and Engineering Business Idea Competition” — designed to recruit highly educated and creative women with world-changing ideas consider entrepreneurship and commercialization of those ideas.

Co-sponsored by Astia and the Kauffman Foundation, the competition ends January 15, 2011 with the prize being an all-expenses-paid trip to TED 2011.

Participate in the business idea competition by January 15, 2011.

This competition announcement comes on the heels of recent survey figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, which reveal that women-led businesses are growing rapidly, but their revenues are not keeping pace. Survey data from 2007 show that women-owned companies comprise 28.7% of all U.S. businesses and generated $1.2 trillion in revenue. In contrast, men-owned companies employed 41.5 million people, more than five times the number employed by women-owned companies, and generated $8.5 trillion.

Dana Lewis, executive director of the National Women’s Business Council, said the data shows women-owned businesses are a fast-growing segment of the economy. “But there is more work to be done.”