Each year, the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) releases a list of the 50 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by women [PDF]. A celebration of some of the most successful female entrepreneurs in America, the list is essential reading for anyone dreaming of starting their own business.
Forbes explains that the WPO, partnering with American Express, sent out applications to 25,000 women-owned or led businesses, and calculated growth rates for all who qualified (to be considered, they had to have made $50,000 in revenue by 2011 and at least $2 million by 2015). Because the list looks at growth rather than pure profit, it often includes younger companies, and provides insight into the kinds of businesses, and business models, that are excelling right now.
This year, the list includes an incredibly diverse range of businesses, from consulting and financial management firms to video game publishers and tech companies. Spanning 20 states, and including one international winner from Turkey, the list shows that a successful business can come from almost anywhere.
Even the three businesses that top the list provide extremely different services: New York-based S’well, which took first place, sells stylish re-usable water bottles, while in second place the Dallas-based Pinnacle Group hires tech employees for other companies, and in third place, the Orangetheory Fitness gym chain provides intense fat-burning workouts in ten countries.
“According to our recent State of Women-Owned Businesses report, the number of women-owned firms grew at a rate of five times faster than the national average since the recession,” said Susan Sobbott of American Express. “We are thrilled to showcase the successes of these fifty honorees in order to inspire other women to build high-growth businesses.”
Check out the top ten businesses below or read the full list on the Forbes website.
1. Sarah Kauss, S’Well (New York, NY)
2. Nina Faca, Pinnacle Group (Dallas, TX)
3. Ellen Latham, Orangetheory Fitness (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
4. Dr. Rebecca Thomley, Morning Star Financial Services (Golden Valley, MN)
5. Kristi Alford, E2 Optics (Englewood, CO)
6. Britnie Turner Founder, Aerial Development Group (Nashville, TN)
7. Therese Tucker, Blackline (Woodland Hills, CA)
8. Kristina Roth, Matisia Consultants (Seattle, WA)
9. Shelly Sun, BrightStar Franchising LLC (Gurnee, IL)
10. Lacy Starling, Legion Logistics, LLC (Florence, KY)