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The Top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Led Companies

By Jenna Goudreau

Forbes.com – April 28, 2011

Will your company soon be on this list?

Today, nonprofit group the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and American Express OPEN released a list of the 50 fastest-growing women-owned or women-led companies in North America. In the U.S. alone there are an estimated 8.1 million women-owned businesses that contribute $1.3 trillion to the national economy and employ 7.7 million people. The companies that made the top 50 generated an astounding $4.1 billion in combined revenues last year.

I was pleased to see some familiar faces on the list. I interviewed Cassandra Sanford, No. 36, owner of technology staffing firm KellyMitchell Group, in 2009 when she was about eight months pregnant with her third child. The company, like her family, was rapidly growing. She gave credit to her stay-at-home husband for allowing her the help she needed to focus on her business.

Also on the list, at No. 8, Elizabeth Elting began her language services business, TransPerfect, in her New York University dorm room. Watch out, Mark Zuckerberg. In under two decades, she took the company from zero to over $200 million and climbing.

The fastest-growing company on the list: BrightStar Care, a home healthcare and medical staffing company based in Illinois, which quadrupled its revenue in just two years to $100 million. Shelly Sun, president and chief, attributes rapid growth to the use of social media. She plans to take the nine-year-old business public.

To qualify for the list, companies were required to be privately held, woman-owned or women-led, and located in the U.S. or Canada. They were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth.

The 50 Fastest-Growing Companies are:

  1. Shelly Sun: BrightStar Care, IL, Healthcare staffing
  2. Eren Ozmen: Sierra Nevada Corporation, NV, Prime systems integrator
  3. Himanshu Bhatia: Rose International, Inc., MO, Contingent Workforce Services
  4. Carolyn Doerle: Doerle Food Services, LLC, LA, Wholesale foodservice distribution
  5. Theresa Daytner: Daytner Construction Group, MD, General Contracting Management
  6. Rebecca Minkoff: Rebecca Minkoff LLC, NY, Fashion Brand
  7. Ranjini Poddar: Artech Information Systems LLC, NJ, IT Consulting
  8. Elizabeth Elting: TransPerfect, NY, Language services provider
  9. Amy Walden: Walden Security, TN, Contract security service
  10. Heidi Ganahl: Camp Bow Wow, CO, Dog Day/Night care.

Click here to view the full list on Forbes.com.