The New List Of Fastest Growing Women-Owned Businesses Contains A Variety of Industries

May 9, 2013  |  

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When many people hear a company is woman-owned, certain industries pop to mind—fashion, fitness, beauty. But this is far from the case as a new list created by the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and American Express OPEN reveals. The list compiles the 50 fastest-growing women-led companies in America. And these companies are doing big business in a variety of fields.

According to Forbes, the 50 companies on the sixth annual list generated a combined $3.2 billion this year and, on average, $64.5 million in revenues over the past 12 months—up from an average of just $24.9 million in 2008. The number of women-led firms pulling in $10 million or more increased 57 percent  over the last decade. They also employ an average of 641 workers per company.

To qualify for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, women-owned or led companies in North America and have reached two benchmarks: at least $500,000 in revenue by 2007, and $2 million in revenue by 2012, reports Forbes. Then, all eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth.

Happy Family, which makes a  line of organic meals for kids, topped this list. The 10-year-old company led by 26-year-old Shazi Visram, experienced a quadrupling of revenue in just two years ($13.3 million in 2010 to $62.3 million in 2012). Strategic Communications, a Louisville technology firm, came in second.

“It’s refreshing to see the variety of companies represented on this year’s list,” Marsha Firestone, the president and founder of WPO, told Forbes. “From global security to transportation to IT and recruiting, these companies represent the real breadth of talent in the female business community.” She adds, “Seventy-one percent of women business owners start companies that are based on or rooted in the technology of their previous employment, meaning that for many of the woman leaders of the 50 fastest-growing companies in America, entrepreneurship is, in fact, their second act.”

Only one African-American woman-owned company made the cut, however. Phyllis Newhouse, owner of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., an  IT consulting based in Atlanta. We know that black women are working on upping that number.

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