Small businesses account for almost all job creation in America, and more entrepreneurs can mean better economic opportunities for everyone. The problem is, women are half as likely as men to start their own businesses, according to new research from the Kauffman Foundation. The study suggests that this is because of the cultural assumption that entrepreneurship is a males-only club.

But women actually make exceptional entrepreneurs. They identify as risk-takers more than men; they can be even more ambitious about becoming serial entrepreneurs. There's also a strong correlation between increasing business returns and increased women in business leadership.

This year, 50 ambitious and confident women CEOs continue to affirm that entrepreneurship is a task for both genders. We've compiled a list of the top 50 fastest-growing female-led companies in America, from IT to architectural services. 

50. Food52

CEO: Amanda Hesser
Inc. 5000 Rank: 521
2014 Revenue: $6.2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 890 percent
A home and garden products online retailer that features columns, recipes, and contests on its site and is targeted to home cooks.

49. The Participation Agency

CEO: Ruthie Schulder
Inc. 5000 Rank: 516
2014 Revenue: $2.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 895 percent
The Participation Agency conceptualizes experiential campaigns that combine experience, influence, and digital strategy to achieve impact.

48. Assurex Health

CEO: Gina Drosos
Inc. 5000 Rank: 515
2014 Revenue: $30 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 896 percent
Provides treatment-decision support to health care providers for behavioral health and chronic pain conditions. Assurex Health uses genomic technology to make more precise determinations about what prescribed medications patients will respond to.

47. SightComm

CEO: Victoria Johnson
Inc. 5000 Rank: 509
2013 Revenue: $11.5 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 901 percent
SightComm offers business consulting, integrated security services, and IT services.

46. Sarah Whit Interior Design

CEO: Sarah Vaile
Inc. 5000 Rank: 487
2014 Revenue: $2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 944 percent
An interior design firm that specializes in renovating and designing residential spaces.

45. Beneficial Blends

CEO: Erin Meagher
Inc. 5000 Rank: 485
2014 Revenue: $2.4 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 948 percent
Beneficial Blends offers contract manufacturing, co-packing, private label, and bulk food service, and distributes Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, an organic coconut oil for baking and cooking.

44. Ace Web Optimization

CEO: Sulamit Berkovitz
Inc. 5000 Rank: 475
2014 Revenue: $3.4 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 979 percent
Specializes in keyword/phrases optimization on Google and other major search engines, paid search marketing, affiliate marketing, search-friendly Web design, social networking, and link building.

43. InVision Security

CEO: Annette Smith, co-CEO Brandon Smith
Inc. 5000 Rank: 474
2014 Revenue: $5.2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 980 percent
InVision Security develops, sells, installs, and monitors customized electronic security systems for businesses and homeowners.

42. Sway Group

CEO: Danielle Wiley
Inc. 5000 Rank: 466
2014 Revenue: $4.3 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 993 percent
Provides customized content marketing services specializing in multiple social media platforms including video, media campaigns, and dynamic events. The Sway Group network comprises 75,000 individuals considered "influencers" from various content verticals: parenting, DIY, food, technology, beauty, fashion, design, and so on.

41. Create Group NYC

CEO: Natalie McDonald
Inc. 5000 Rank: 445
2014 Revenue: $10.6 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,044 percent
An advertising agency that specializes in pharmaceutical brands.

40. Activate Healthcare

CEO: Debra Geihsler
Inc. 5000 Rank: 441
2014 Revenue: $13.1 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,064 percent
Operates health care clinics in the Midwest that serve 40,000 patients annually and are focused on reducing chronic conditions by instilling preventative healthy habits.

39. JMC Electrical Contractor

CEO: Mashell Carissimi
Inc. 5000 Rank: 406
2014 Revenue: $6.1 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,164 percent
An electrical contractor that performs installations for commercial, medical, casino, industrial, and institutional clients.

38. Handsome Brook Farm

CEO: Betsy Babcock, co-CEO Bryan Babcock
Inc. 5000 Rank: 391
2014 Revenue: $2.4 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,203 percent
Sells eggs from hens that are raised outdoors on pasture land by dozens of family farms, many of them Amish. Handsome Brook Farm eggs are available in 2,000 grocery stores across 26 states.

37. Switchgear Search & Recruiting

CEO: Dixie Agostino
Inc. 5000 Rank: 387
2014 Revenue: $2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,221 percent
Finds and screens engineering, IT, accounting and finance, and HR professionals for positions in the energy, manufacturing, and engineering sectors.

36. Leota

CEO: Sarah Carson
Inc. 5000 Rank: 386
2014 Revenue: $2.7 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,229 percent
A women's clothing line made by a self-taught designer that is sold in more than 500 stores globally.

35. Creative Systems and Consulting

CEO: Vanitha Khera
Inc. 5000 Rank: 380
2014 Revenue: $6.5 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,244 percent
Offers a broad range of business and technology consulting services, from cloud strategy to data center consolidation and enterprise architecture, to federal government customers.

34. Thompson Gray

CEO: Sheila Thompson
Inc. 5000 Rank: 372
2014 Revenue: $15.1 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,276 percent
Thompson Gray provides programmatic, financial, and IT support to Department of Defense clients, with particular expertise in General Fund Enterprise Business System implementation and training.

33. Torchlight Technology Group

CEO: Helene Seydoux
Inc. 5000 Rank: 371
2014 Revenue: $3 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,281 percent
Torchlight Technology Group offers lead generation, data management, and media buying products and services mostly to clients in financial services and insurance.

32. A Square Group

CEO: Sara Singh
Inc. 5000 Rank: 340
2014 Revenue: $4.8 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,386 percent
A Square Group provides systems integration, project-based outsourcing, managed vendor services, and IT staff augmentation for government, commercial, and health care customers.

31. Makeup Geek

CEO: Marlena Stell
Inc. 5000 Rank: 336
2014 Revenue: $9.6 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,396 percent
Sells cosmetic products and provides hair and makeup tutorials through its website.

30. Bell Info Solutions

CEO: Swathi Nadella
Inc. 5000 Rank: 326
2014 Revenue: $5.7 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,437 percent
A technology development company that provides individual consultants, project teams, and strategic outsourcing services to clients in a wide range of industries.

29. Tribal Tech

CEO: Victoria Vasques
Inc. 5000 Rank: 320
2014 Revenue: $7.5 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,461 percent
A management and technical services consulting company that provides a diverse range of services to federal agencies, Native American tribes, and private businesses, including training and technical services, grants management, Indian affairs, IT, education, and health and social sciences.

28. My Marketing Solutions

CEO: Laura Harper
Inc. 5000 Rank: 315
2014 Revenue: $2.2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,481 percent
My Marketing Solutions offers print, direct mail and e-mail marketing, automated marketing programs, promotional items, branded apparel, website updates and design, and social media execution.

27. SmartyPants Vitamins

CEO: Courtney Nichols-Gould, co-CEO Gordon Gould
Inc. 5000 Rank: 308
2014 Revenue: $4.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,503 percent
Makes a multivitamin in gummy form that provides omega 3's and vitamin D with nothing artificial and no gluten, casein, or GMOs.

26. Forshay

CEO: Sally Thornton
Inc. 5000 Rank: 290
2014 Revenue: $2.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,567 percent
A recruiting firm that provides short-term project consultants as well as full-time employees to companies ranging from startups to established brands.

25. Favor TechConsulting

CEO: Vaseal Montgomery
Inc. 5000 Rank: 256
2014 Revenue: $1.2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1754 percent
An IT consulting firm that offers information management and IT services to corporate and government organizations.

24. Tenica and Associates

CEO: Terry L. Scherling
Inc. 5000 Rank: 255
2014 Revenue: $6.2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,755 percent
Provides government services and consulting services in the areas of national defense, homeland, and cyber security for both government and commercial clients.

23. Santec Resources

CEO: Radhika Ramasahaym
Inc. 5000 Rank: 254
2014 Revenue: $2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,762 percent
Santec Resources provides IT staffing, web design, e-commerce implementation, software development, architecture and technology consulting, networking, and enterprise technology services.

22. 360 Payment Solutions

CEO: Lisa Coyle
Inc. 5000 Rank: 238
2014 Revenue: $2.5 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,865 percent
A credit card processor for banks, associations, and software companies.

21. Capital Consulting Services

CEO: Tracey Clark-Jeffries
Inc. 5000 Rank: 231
2014 Revenue: $2.1 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,904 percent
Capital Consulting Services offers management consulting services in the areas of small business, commercial, and economic development, with expertise in examining opportunities for communities, government entities, and businesses.

20. Pace Solutions

CEO: Padma Pallavi Vegetila
Inc. 5000 Rank: 222
2014 Revenue: $4.4 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,979 percent
Offers web and enterprise content management, system implementation, and IT staff augmentation.

19. Edifice Solutions

CEO: Lisa London
Inc. 5000 Rank: 214
2014 Revenue: $22.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,024 percent
Edifice Solutions performs construction, design build, architectural engineering, and professional services to federal government, Department of Defense, and intelligence community customers.

18. ginnybakes

CEO: Ginny Simon
Inc. 5000 Rank: 211
2014 Revenue: $2.1 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,027 percent
Makes a line of organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO cookies, bars, and bake mixes.

17. ProjectSpan Services

CEO: Nellie J. Torres
Inc. 5000 Rank: 202
2014 Revenue: $28.7 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,074 percent
ProjectSpan provides support services for complex transit and airport infrastructure projects, including safety and quality management, specification and procurement, program management, construction management, installation support, and public safety.

16. Centerspan

CEO: Kathleen Finnegan
Inc. 5000 Rank: 186
2014 Revenue: $3.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,243 percent
Centerspan sells and installs medically necessary lifts and ramps that increase access and mobility for people who use wheelchairs or cannot use stairs.

15. The Good Bean

CEO: Sarah Wallace
Inc. 5000 Rank: 182
2014 Revenue: $4 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,260 percent
Makes snack foods featuring bean protein, fruits, and nuts.

14. AIT Bioscience

CEO: Terri Pascarelli
Inc. 5000 Rank: 179
2014 Revenue: $5.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,311 percent
A contract research organization that performs analysis for new drug candidates and related substances in biological samples such as serum and tissue.

13. Integrhythm

CEO: Anu Bulusu
Inc. 5000 Rank: 178
2014 Revenue: $3.8 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,339 percent
A boutique consulting firm focused on integrating business and IT, with expertise in program management, implementations, and enterprise cloud services.

12. CentralCloseout.com

CEO: Angela Romero
Inc. 5000 Rank: 177
2014 Revenue: $4.2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,357 percent
A wholesale supplier of inventory from store closeouts, liquidation, overstock, and customer returns.

11. inDinero

CEO: Jessica Mah
Inc. 5000 Rank: 146
2014 Revenue: $2.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,686 percent
inDinero offers software-as-a-service that enables small businesses to automate accounting, tax, and payroll functions.

10. Kohana Coffee

CEO: Victoria Lynden
Inc. 5000 Rank: 133
2014 Revenue: $5.2 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,810 percent
Manufacturer and supplier of cold-brew coffee products, ready-to-drink coffee, roasted coffee, and coffee concentrate.

9. Love With Food

CEO: Aihui Ong
Inc. 5000 Rank: 129
2014 Revenue: $3 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,859 percent
Delivers snack boxes of natural foods on a subscription basis to customers, who then provide feedback on the products and receive discounts on further deliveries of the ones they like.

8. Na Ali'i

CEO: Cariann Ah Loo
Inc. 5000 Rank: 118
2014 Revenue: $3.3 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 2,987 percent
Na Ali'i provides base logistics and contract-acquisition management services to the federal government (primarily defense agencies) and private companies. Also provides consulting and engineering services for environmental compliance requirements.

7. SoulPancake

CEO: Shabnam Mogharabi
Inc. 5000 Rank: 114
2014 Revenue: $3.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 3,044 percent
A media and production company that makes content about the human experience. It has a large audience of socially conscious Millennials and has won Webby and Emmy awards.

6. Marketsmith

CEO: Monica C. Smith
Inc. 5000 Rank: 97
2014 Revenue: $103 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 3,420 percent
Creates and manages direct response television advertising campaigns, events, and expos for its customers.

5. CATMEDIA

CEO: Catherine Downey
Inc. 5000 Rank: 94
2014 Revenue: $17 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 3,545 percent
CATMEDIA provides program and HR management, training and creative services and media production to federal and corporate clients.

4. Trident Technologies

CEO: Sue Arroyo
Inc. 5000 Rank: 68
2014 Revenue: $16 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 4,161 percent
Trident Technologies provides software development, engineering, programmatic support, data integration, systems development, enterprise architecture, material procurement, and meteorological services to customers in the Department of Defense and in private industry.

3. Noonday Collection

CEO: Jessica Honegger
Inc. 5000 Rank: 45
2014 Revenue: $11 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 5,512 percent
Sells jewelry and accessories sourced around the world from its fair-trade artisan partners.

2. Tatcha

CEO: Victoria Tsai
Inc. 5000 Rank: 21
2014 Revenue: $12 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 10,996 percent
Tatcha sells a luxury skincare line inspired by the beauty rituals of geishas.

1. Drawbridge

CEO: Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan
Inc. 5000 Rank: 6
2014 Revenue: $32.9 million
3-Year Growth Rate: 23,484 percent
Drawbridge enables brands to have seamless interaction with consumers across their computers, smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs, which in turn gives them increased insight into online and offline consumer behavior.

Published on: Aug 12, 2015