Defying gravity

High-growth entrepreneurship in a
slow-growth economy

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You would think if there were a group of US companies that collectively employ 700,000 workers and achieved 30% job growth and 48% revenue growth between 2009 and 2011, investors, economists and policymakers would want to know who they are. We do.

The 636 companies that are finalists of the our US Entrepreneur Of The Year  2012 awards are those companies.

Spread across the US in industries as diverse as technology, manufacturing, consumer products and energy, these high-growth entrepreneurial companies are defying gravity.

Not only have they collectively added more than 150,000 jobs in this challenging two-year period, but also, their annual rates of job growth have almost doubled — from 9.7% in 2010 to 18.9% in 2011.

The high-growth companies that win our Entrepreneur Of The Year award have historically proved to be a bellwether for some of the most disruptive innovations of all time.

Herb Engert
Americas Strategic Growth Markets Leader, Ernst & Young LLP

We have had the privilege of getting to know entrepreneurial high-growth companies like these during the 26 years we have been producing the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

Today, there are more than 8,000 Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni in the US alone, with thousands more representing growth and innovation in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

In the pages that follow, we invite you to get to know them like we do. You will be inspired!

Median employment, revenue and productivity by industry

Category Median employees
in $
Median revenue
in $
Median revenue/median
employee (a measure of
productivity) in $
Automotive  832 306,372,028 368,236
Biotech, medtech and pharma  97 27,821,951 286,824
Cleantech  64 10,737,000 167,766
Distribution and manufacturing  167 46,681,429 279,530
Financial services  179 88,558,366 494,723
Health care services  381 59,300,000 155,643
Hospitality and leisure  900 48,253,558 53,615
Media and entertainment  344 39,725,000 115,480
Mining and metals  257 148,138,431 576,414
Oil and gas  186 215,184,000 1,156,903
Power and utilities  76 53,316,000 701,526
Real estate and construction  110 94,800,000 861,818
Retail and consumer products  104 40,582,350 390,215
Services  254 39,756,124 156,520
Technology  135 26,771,009 198,304
Telecom  143 75,032,500 524,703
Overall median  167 44,008,828 263,526