INC500Every year Inc. lists the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in America. They also survey the CEOs from the top 500 and there were some interesting findings. The top company grew an impressive 101,000% ending at some $118 million of revenue. The 500th company ‘merely’ achieved 913% to just over $10 million. Companies ranged in size from $2 to over $400 million.

Here are some of my favourite findings from the top of the top 500:

40% their first company!
43% started the company with a close friend
68% still had their entire founding team intact!
24% of CEOs waited for 3 years to get their first paycheck (US…)
68% improved on an existing product rather than inventing a new one
24% of CEOs have started a company that went out of business

49% of the CEOs started their first business with less than $5,000, one woman even went so far as to sell her engagement ring! A whopping 71% started their business with personal savings. 38% have turned down venture capital funding, 48% have not sort or been approached by VC.

Of course, all these entrepreneurs have determination, are creative and can manage the high risks involved as well as having the staying power. Another thing that INC identified was that they are all students and quick learners at that in these technologically fast changing times.

The magazine has some fabulous stories with more information and is great value at only $13 for the annual digital subscription. By the way, apart from my subscription, I am not connected with INC.

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