Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is Editor & Publisher of Enterprising Women. The magazine will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020. She is also the President and Founder of the Enterprising Women Foundation. To learn more about Enterprising Women or to donate to the Foundation's initiative to mentor and inspire the next generation of women leaders, please email Monica at or call 919-362-5151.

The fastest-growing companies in Europe and in the US: Focus on female CEOs

  • A new study by Merchant Machine finds the top countries, states, and industries for the fastest-growing companies in Europe and the US
  • Technology ranks as the overall top industry, accounting for 21.3% of the 1,360 companies
  • Italian e-commerce company Mamma 2.0 is the fastest-growing company with a female CEO
  • The world's leading AI company Darktrace is led by Nicole Eagon who was named AI Leader of the year in 2020

A new study conducted by Merchant Machine analyses 1,360 of the fastest-growing companies across Europe and the US to find the top locations and industries for booming businesses. The study also looks into metrics such as growth per employee, projected industry growth and companies with female CEOs.

You can view the full study here.

Across the world, new and exciting businesses are being born and growing at a rapid rate, with some transforming our world entirely. But what industries have the fastest growing companies?

Top industries for fast-growing companies
Technology ranks as the top industry accounting for the highest number of fastest-growing companies in the list (1,360 analysed). The technology industry accounts for an impressive 289 (21.3%) of the fastest-growing companies in the study, with 188 of these being in Europe and 101 companies in the US.

Support Services is the 2nd biggest industry in the study and accounts for a total of 123 (9%) companies, with 91 in Europe and 32 in the US.This was closely followed by the construction industry with 88 (6.5%) companies in total – 74 in Europe and 14 in the US.

Top countries with the fastest-growing companies
Merchant Machine analysed 1,360 companies across Europe and the US and found which countries hold the fastest-growing companies. The top 3 countries accounting for the most are:

1. USA – home to 360 (26.5%) of the 1,360 companies. Software company Niantic is their fastest-growing company, with an absolute growth rate of 180,307%.
2. Germany – ranks 2nd and is home to 191 (14%) of the fastest-growing companies. Germany’s fastest-growing company is industrial equipment supplier Farmermobil, which has an absolute growth rate of 6,056%
3. Italy – ranks 3rd just behind Germany with 190 (14%) companies. Their fastest-growing company is e-commerce site is the female-run Mamma 2.0 which has an absolute growth rate of 7,110%

Fastest-growing companies with female CEOs
The study analysed the gender of the CEOs in the fastest-growing companies in Europe and the US to find the fastest-growing female-led companies.

Italian e-commerce company Mamma 2.0 is the fastest-growing company with a female CEO and is led by Martina Cusano, generating an absolute growth rate of 7,110%. This is followed by Sonia Summers and California-based Beauty Barrage, achieving an absolute growth rate of 5,459.4%.

The third fastest company with a female CEO is once again Italy-based. Rinah is co-led by Hannah Raccah and generated an absolute growth rate of 3,425%.

Finally, AI company Darktrace is the 4th fastest-growing company with a female CEO and is led by Nicole Eagan, who was named AI Leader of the year and held the top position on the Software Report’s Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity in 2020. They generated an absolute growth rate of 2,446% with their 1,200 employees across the world.

Ian Wright from Merchant Machine comments: We wanted to find the top countries and industries across Europe and the US accounting for the most growth. We also thought it would be interesting to see just how much growth each employee accounts for across all 1,360 companies, with some boasting up to 4,301%.

It’s clear that technology is a winner when it comes to the top industries generating the most fast-growing companies. It’s interesting to see the projections for industry growth in the UK and US as we wish to help business owners prepare for the future and develop concepts and companies that create jobs for their communities and help their local economy grow.”

To find out more about the top companies, countries and industries generating the most growth in Europe and the US, see the full study here.

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