A recent survey by information-compilation service eePulse Inc. and the University of Michigan Business School shows that overall, business leaders are more confident about the economy than two months ago. And within this group, women business owners are most optimistic about sales and hiring. Women business owners outscored Fortune 1000, NASDAQ firm executives and other leaders in the pace at which they expect to grow both sales and number of employees over the next month. Consisting of five short questions, the Web-based Pulse Survey is sent out to thousands of worldwide executives on a monthly basis to measure the effects of key resources and confidence levels on overall business growth and performance. In August's survey, women business owners who responded to the survey scored 71 on "sales" and 34 on "employment" compared with averages of 62 on "sales" and 26 on "employment" for the other leadership groups. (The researchers note that these companies are generally smaller and have growth opportunities that larger, non-women-owned companies don't have.) Participants also were asked about their confidence in the overall economic climate. Confidence improved in August, with a five-point increase since the same question was last asked in June. Of the survey respondents, 44% have C-level jobs (CEO, CFO, CTO, etc.), 17% are in VP roles, and the remainder are directors, managers or professionals.