The Women Presidents’ Organization Honors Women with the Fastest-Growing Businesses During These Volatile Times
For the past decade I’ve been writing that having more women CEOs is not just the right thing to do but the key to unlocking our economy’s potential. An organization that embodies that statement perfectly is the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO).
Founded more than 30 years ago by Force of Nature and former CEO Marsha Firestone, the WPO continues to support, connect and champion women-owned and led businesses and every year it issues the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies.
The 50 Fastest is the nationally recognized authority on enterprising women enjoying the most corporate success.
This year’s ranking, just issued with JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking, puts the spotlight on amazing women who have managed to mount in some cases huge profit percentage increases amidst a pandemic that shows no sign of slowing.
"In a time when the normal course of business has been upended in nearly every sector, we are thrilled to celebrate the talent and resilience of these 50 accomplished leaders," says Camille Burns, CEO of the Women Presidents' Organization. "… we are excited to highlight the crucial role these diverse and vibrant women-owned and -led companies play in creating jobs and growing the global economy."
To qualify for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, woman-owned or -led, and must have reached annual revenues of at least $500,000 in each of the past five years. Applicants were not required to join or be members of the WPO. All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth.
The top three awardees:
Clean lifestyle brand Modere is the fastest-growing woman-owned business, moving up from the number three spot last year. Based in Newport Beach, CA, and led by CEO Asma Ishaq, Modere saw its revenue skyrocket over the past five years, growing by over 1,700% from 2016 to 2020. Ishaq credits growth to having built a mobile-first strategy toward personal service. Modere Inc manufactures and distributes nutritional and personal care products. The Company provides skin, hair, body, mouth, men care, anti-aging, active health, weight management, laundry, kitchen, cleaning, health, wellness, and household care products. Modere serves customers worldwide.
SimpleHealth, Inc. in New York City is a telemedicine platform focused on reproductive health and makes its debut on the 50 Fastest list this year. Helmed by CEO Carrie SiuButt, the company—which has one of the most accessible platforms for getting birth control products online—has doubled in size and more than quadrupled its revenue in the past two years alone. Some of the growth can be attributed to women being wary of visiting doctors’ offices during COVID.
At number 3 is Pleasanton, CA-based Paxon Energy & Infrastructure Services, a professional services firm in the oil, gas, and utilities industries. It is also a newcomer on the 50 Fastest list. Founder and CEO Nooshin Behroyan has grown the company from one to 125 employees in 5 years. The company specializes in specialize in heavy Civil Engineering projects encompassing utilities transmission and distribution, pipeline integrity management, construction management and 3rd party inspection, project and program management, document and project control, and field quality control services.
The 50 Fastest includes eight healthcare-related companies and quite a few in STEM-related industries. There is also a healthy percentage of corporate service businesses, such as staffing, outsourcing, insurance and financial advisories.
It is becoming clearer with each passing year that female-led companies are responsible for an ever-growing percentage of the U.S. economy. Recent figures from the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC): Women-owned businesses represent an estimated 42% of all U.S. businesses (nearly 13 million), employ 9.4 million workers, and generate $1.9 trillion in revenue.
The average age of women business owners on the list is 49, and 74% said they started their business with their own funds. Two-thirds already do business globally, and 18% plan to conduct business internationally as they grow.
Seventy six percent of companies on the 50 Fastest list said they do business with Fortune 1,000 companies, and the same percentage augmented or expanded their business operations to continue to prosper during challenges imposed COVID-19.
And as before the pandemic, WPO remains the premier membership organization for women presidents, CEOs, and managing directors of privately held multimillion-dollar companies. Through global, confidential, and collaborative peer-learning groups, the WPO accelerates business growth, enhances competitiveness, and promotes economic security. It is the ultimate destination for successful women entrepreneurs.
America’s continued growth depends on the spirit, drive and ingenuity of the burgeoning number of female CEOs and presidents. The WPO continues to dedicate itself to improving business conditions for women entrepreneurs, and to promote the acceptance and advancement of women entrepreneurs in all industries.
Here’s to wishing more prosperity to the WPO and The 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies!
To listen to interview with Asma Ishaq go to The CEO Forum Group