I have long been impressed with the essential work at WPO and thought important to check in and share some insights from their CEO, Camille Burns. Importantly, the Women Presidents Organization and JPMorgan Chase will be sharing the 15th annual “50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies” ranking. Founded in 1997, the WPO is the premier peer advisory organization connecting women who own multi-million-dollar companies, with more than 2,000 members across 11 countries.
(*Note – applications for new nominations can be received up to February 25, 2022. See the full list of requirements at bottom)
Reiss: Talk about the concept of WPO’s important work
For decades, women have often been underrepresented in media and regarded as small niche businesses, when they are significant drivers of the economy. Research shows that diverse leadership creates better outcomes for businesses, and visibility for successful female entrepreneurs inspires others to follow in their path.
“Through the 50 Fastest and the WPO community, we can help raise the profile of women business leaders and uplift them by providing a peer community where they can learn, share insights and support one another,” said Camille Burns, CEO of the Women Presidents Organization.
The WPO’s “50 Fastest” creates an opportunity for women to be recognized among peer entrepreneurs at the top of their game. Please tell us more. .
Recognition plays an important role in helping to improve the environment for today’s women entrepreneurs and level the playing field for future leaders. The 50 Fastest ranking showcases and celebrates women who are leading some of the fastest-growing businesses around the globe, and provides significant brand exposure.
It also creates a forum for idea exchange and fosters lasting community among honorees. This is invaluable to leaders navigating new stages of growth. Past winners often reflect on the impact that this community continues to have as they scale.
The 50 Fastest is in its 15th year, can you tell us about the history of the award?
The 50 Fastest was founded to recognize the economic power of women across industries. Each year’s ranking is unique, reflecting a range of business types and economic and cultural trends. The 2021 ranking honored leaders within technology, beauty, insurance, energy, and healthcare, among other industries. They generated a combined $4.1 billion in revenues, ranging from $6 to $608 million, employed more than 28,000 people, and averaged 14 years in business.
“JPMorgan Chase believes in the WPO’s mission to help advance women entrepreneurs who are leading from the front,” said Thelma Ferguson, Managing Director & Northeast Segment Head, JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking. “Through this opportunity we can help support a multitude of industries, leaders and businesses by providing expertise, solutions and connections.”
What is the thinking behind developing this influential list of transformative entrepreneurs? How do you determine who is appropriate?
The 50 Fastest is unique in that it provides a truly objective, data-driven snapshot of fast-growing women-owned businesses. It’s calculated using a combination of absolute and percentage growth, with no subjective influence. By focusing on growth – and the numbers that prove it – the 50 Fastest creates a level playing field to recognize top performers.
The WPO welcomes applications from all companies globally that are privately held, women-owned, or led, and have reached annual revenues of at least $500,000 in each of the last five years (2017-2021). Applicants are not required to be members of the WPO and the application is free.
How will this year’s honorees be recognized and celebrated?
This year’s 50 Fastest honorees will be recognized at the WPO Annual Conference on May 4-6, 2022 in Montreal, Québec, Canada. The ceremony will take place on May 5 and honorees will have the opportunity to connect across the three days. The 50 Fastest will also be announced via a national press release and featured on the WPO’s website.
Following the conference, honorees will continue building connections at exclusive networking and educational events hosted by the WPO and JPMorgan Chase. Each honoree will also receive a complimentary analysis of their online presence from Zilker Media.
Applications must be received by February 25, 2022. The free application requires business owners to provide their revenue numbers and some basic information about their company. See the full list of requirements at