New List: The Fastest-Growing Women-Led Companies

What are the fastest-growing women-run companies in North America? The current top 10 include an “intimate apparel” company, an IT consulting firm, and a health-care staffing firm, according to an annual list released today.

Companies on the list of 50 companies, compiled by the Women Presidents’ Organization, all meet certain criteria: They’re privately held, led or owned by women, and have brought in $2 million in annual revenue last year. About 350 companies applied to be included on the list.

The #1 spot was held by an Illinois-based health-care staffing agency and franchise, BrightStar Group Holdings Inc. Shelly Sun, 41, runs the company, which took the top spot last year, too. Since 2009, Sun’s company has doubled its revenue. (And somehow she found time to appear on Undercover Boss, too.) Number two on the list, energy consulting business Cenergy International Services, founded by a Houston woman named June Ressler, also doubled its revenue in the same period.

In general, women-owned firms post lower numbers than those owned by men: According to a major report released last year [PDF], less than 2% of women-owned firms had revenues above $1 million, compared to 6.3% of firms owned by their male peers. The average revenue of a male-owned firm is double the average revenue of a female firm.

That makes the firms on today’s list of women-led companies all the more remarkable. According to the Wall Street Journal, which also put together a nifty slide show of the top 10 on the list, the 50 companies that comprise the list reported an average of about $80 million in revenue last year.


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