MATTERS The average age of our Hot
100 entrepreneurs is 41.5 years old.
The baby of the group is 25; our oldest
is still going strong at 69
FASTEST GROWING ENTREPRENEURIAL BUSINESSES
OUR 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY, SPEED IS
THE NEW PREREQUISITE. ENTREPRENEURS
WHO DON'T HIT THE GROUND RUNNING ARE
OFTEN LEFT CHOKING ON A CLOUD OF DUST.
MEANWHILE, MUCH OF THE GLORY TODAY
GOES TO THOSE WHO ACCELERATE FROM
$0 TO MILLIONS FASTER THAN YOU CAN
COULD SAY ENTREPRENEUR WAS QUICK TO
PICK UP ON THIS TREND. FIVE YEARS
AGO, ON THE CUSP OF AMERICA'S OBSESSION
WITH ALL THINGS FAST, WE SET OUT TO
FIND THE NATION'S FASTEST-GROWING
NEW BUSINESSES, WITH THE HELP OF DUN
& BRADSTREET (D&B), THE WORLD'S
TOP RESEARCH-BASED BUSINESS INFORMATION
PROVIDER, WE COMBED MASSIVE DATABASES
TO FIND 100 ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURES
OF ALL SHAPES, FORMS, INDUSTRIES AND
CORNERS OF THE COUNTRY. THE COMMON
BOND; WARP SPEED GROWTH.
is how it all begins: Culling from
its massive database, Dun & Bradstreet
provides Entrepreneur with an initial
list of fast-grow-ing companies. Entrepreneur
mails each company a form, which the
entrepreneurs must complete and submit
along with current finan-cial statements.
We then measure the company's sales
growth from the date of inception,
listing the businesses in growth order.
In order for a business to be considered,
it must meet the following criteria:
Founder is actively involved in daily
operations and controls at least 51
percent of the business. Business
was founded no earlier than 1997.
• Annual sales exceeded $1 million
in 1999. Company meets the SBA's definition
of a small business, based on the
number of employees and sales figures.
These numbers vary according to industry.
DUN & BRADSTREET
Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), with
the world's largest business information
database, tracks 57 million companies
worldwide, 11 million in the United
States alone. Businesses use D&B's
services to find new customers and
evaluate their creditworthiness, identify
potential suppliers, and collect overdue
receivables. Through face-to-face
and telephone interviews and public-records
searches, more than 200 million financial
transactions are added annually to
D&B's files in the United States
alone. D&B updates its information
base continually—an average of 950,000
times each business day. When businesses
are entered in the D&B database,
they are issued D-U-N-S numbers (similar
to Social Security numbers for companies).
The U.S. federal government requires
companies to have this number to bid
for government con-tracts. Also used
by the United Nations and the European
Union, the D&B D-U-N-S number
is quickly becoming the universal
standard for identifying businesses
on the Web as well