The 2010 Inc. 5000: Top 10 Companies by Growth Rate

7 of 10

Brad Smith, CEO

Debt Free Associates

Oklahoma City

No. 7

2009 Revenue: $26.2 million

Three-Year Growth: 12,376.19%

Smith's company grew 12,376 percent in a mere three years and he had help from the sour economy. Smith launched Debt Free Associates, a debt consolidation company, in 2006, well before the zenith of the housing and financial crises. "It's somewhat bittersweet," he says, "we've been able to market, and expand, and hire good analysts but at the same time you're dealing with people who are in a very sensitive state." So does a recovery spell doom for his company? Not yet. Now that the economy is on the uptick, Smith is hoping it will increase the barriers to entry for potential competitors.