Entrepreneurship is an important aspect of the American Dream.

And a new report indicates that, despite the economic woes of the last half decade, being an entrepreneur remains fulfilling–especially for women.

Of business owners 69 percent are “very happy with their lives” and almost three-quarters of women entrepreneurs are more likely to be very happy compared with two-thirds of men. And this happiness can be attributed either entirely or in part to being an entrepreneur.

Millions of small business owners start with an idea or a dream and passion to see it come to fruition whether that’s a coffee shop, a web service, or an invention. Small business is also the driver of job creation in our nation. Cost, regulation, natural disaster, and economic downturn can be detrimental to a small business.

However, this new report from the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor finds that life for small business owners is improving as they begin to recover from the long, drawn-out Recession. Slightly less than half of small business owners (49 percent)have cash flow concerns matching pre-recession levels in the fall 2007 and down from a high of 66 percent in spring 2011. In addition, fewer business owners say they are "stressed-out" by the economy (56 percent down from a high of 70 percent in spring 2011)

This is positive news following tepid economic data about our overall economy. Here’s more:

Entrepreneurs remain confident about business prospects, but their top priority continues to be maintaining current sources of revenue.

This spring, small business owners are on a better path to achieving their long-term goals. According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, 54% of small business owners say they are on track to save for the retirement they want (up significantly from 37% a year ago) and fewer (65%, down from 73% a year ago) are worried about setting aside the estimated average $1,170,000 they say they need for the retirement they want.

"The recession's silver lining is that small business owners have become more adept at navigating an uncertain economy, gaining valuable experience and putting it into practice along the way," said Denise Pickett, president, American Express OPEN. "While they remain optimistic and confident in their ability to manage their businesses, entrepreneurs are realistic that challenges may arise and look beyond themselves — recognizing the importance of community and networking — understanding they do not have to go it alone."

Small businesses generate the majority of jobs in our nation. When business owners feel secure and see growth they are likely to hire. That security allows them to feel fulfilled and happy rather than frustrated.

The role of our leaders in Washington and across the country should be to foster an environment for entrepreneurship to flourish. Taxes and regulation such as ObamaCare that saddle small business owners with higher costs and limit ability to produce, need to be re-examined and removed.

Robust growth can follow a Washington that understands entrepreneurs should be unleashed not burdened. Let’s hope Washington doesn’t put a damper on the new confidence we see from entrepreneurs!