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50 Fastest Growing, Women-Owned Businesses

By Erin Kim

Inc. - April 26, 2012

The women at these companies are bringing home the bacon.

The Women Presidents’ Organization announced today the 50 fastest growing women-owned/led companies—and the No. 1 spot is a repeat performer and an Inc. 5000 veteran.

Illinois-based BrightStar Care, a home health care and medical staffing company, tops the list for a second consecutive year, with revenue tripling from 2009 to hit $150 million in 2011.

Several others on the list sounded familiar to the Inc. team as well, including No. 11 TransPerfect, a language services company run by Liz Elting, and No. 18 Atlas Travel International, whose vice president helped pick Inc.’s 7 Best Extended Stay Hotels.

Eligible companies were required to be private and woman-owned or -led, with revenues of at least half a million at the beginning of 2007 and $2 million in 2011. Partnering with American Express OPEN, the WPO then narrowed down approximately 350 qualified businesses to 50.

This year marks the fifth year of these rankings, and the WPO says this is the most diverse group to date, with representatives from 20 states and businesses ranging from full-service media firms to meat processors to legal note publishers. Staffing companies have a large presence on this list, says the WPO president and founder Marsha Firestone.

“It used to be, years ago, in 1977, for example, women were mainly in fashion, fitness and beauty—and that has really changed,” Firestone said. “The nature of the privately led businesses that women are in have evolved over time, and they are now in every industry.”

She says, that though the majority of women-owned businesses tend to be smaller, the organization creates this list to acknowledge the bigger players. Out of the 50 recognized, 90% were founded by women, and the average revenues have grown from $31.5 million to $80.1 million in the span of four years.

Here’s a look at the top 10:

  1. BrightStar Care
  2. Cenergy International Services, LLC
  3. Shear Enterprises
  4. Rose International, Inc.
  5. Strategic Communications
  6. Doerle Food Services, LLC
  7. Artech Information Systems LLC
  8. Ubee Interactive, Inc.
  10. GCS, Inc.

You can see the full list here.