Love is a perfect organizing guide for an issue of Inc. because it allows us to edit as much with our hearts as our minds. Indeed, it's the best way we've come up with to capture the diverse array of passions, interests, and activities of today's entrepreneurs. We first put together a "love" issue to mark our 25th anniversary last year. It garnered such a favorable response from readers that we decided to make it an annual event.
One theme that emerged from this year's profiles is the increasing degree to which business owners think globally. Michael Dell, the richest of the entrepreneurs on our list, is one of the most sophisticated manufacturers in the world -- and yet he also remains a loyal American employer. Then there are Izzy and Coco Tihanyi of Surf Diva, who started out teaching women to surf on a beach in La Jolla, Calif. Today they have operations in Central America and sell a line of apparel in England and Japan as well as the United States.
Perhaps no one has displayed a smarter understanding of globalization than Sir Richard Branson. "The world is a massively more hospitable place for entrepreneurs than it was 20 years ago," he told Inc. editor-at-large Michael S. Hopkins. "Even the smallest, youngest companies should not be frightened to go overseas. The opportunities in the world are immense." Branson's Virgin Group has not only benefited from the global economy, but also helped reshape it. From Europe to Asia to South America, government and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that the true strength of an economy lies in the vitality of its entrepreneurs. The U.S. has long led other nations in this regard, and Inc. has been honored to play a supporting role. As we add names to our annual list of Entrepreneurs We Love in the future, we hope that yours will be among them.