Women-Owned/Led Companies are Growing Fast

The 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/led companies around the globe generated $4.9 billion in combined 2013 revenues and collectively employed 22,000 people, according to The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO).

WPO, which produces the list, said that the total combined revenue of the 2014 winning companies grew by 53% compared with last year’s list.

Topping the list was Thirty-One Gifts, a direct seller of purses, totes, fashion accessories and organizing solutions. That company – which was started by Cindy Monroe in her basement – has grown from from $38 million of revenues in 2009 to $760 million in 2013.

Placing second this year is technology services provider Strategic Communications, which is run by Kathy Mills. Under Mills leadership, the Louisville-based firm has nearly doubled its revenues, from from $45.4 million in 2011 to $97.3 million in 2013.

WPO president and founder Marsha Firestone, Ph.D. said that the success of companies on her organizations list shows that women entrepreneurs are resourceful — and are making inroads in non-traditional businesses, such as information technology and transportation.

“We saw production soaring, with an average revenue growth of 203% from 2009 to 2013,” Firestone said. “The growth of these women-led companies is particularly impressive as the world economic recovery struggles to gain traction. Privately held U.S. companies on average ended 2013 with annual sales growth of 5.4%, the slowest rate of sales growth since 2009.”

According to WPO, the 2014 50 Fastest was opened to applicants on a global level, a move that resulted in two international businesses (Turkey-based Erkunt Traktor Industry Inc and Korea-based Sungjoo D&D) placing in the top ten. The list is limited to privately held, woman-owned/led companies that, by year-end 2008, posted annual revenue of at least $500,000.

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