“Build an incredible team, give them the right tools, then get out of their way.”

By Geri Stengel (Founder, Ventureneer)

Perhaps it’s women’s natural instinct to nurture or maybe high-impact entrepreneurs know that you can’t sustain rapid growth without employees who deliver excellent products and customer service. It’s both, according to Marsha Firestone, President of the Women Presidents’ Organization, which compiled a list of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies in North America sponsored by American Express OPEN.

These companies were already substantial in size, projecting an average number of employees of nearly 700 in 2012. On average, the 50 fastest grew from $31.5 million in 2007 to $80.1 million in 2011 — that’s a growth rate of more than 250%.

There is a misperception that women-led businesses tend to fall into “pink ghetto” industries, such as healthcare and social assistance or that they produce girly products and services. The 50 fastest growing women-led businesses prove that women can make it in any industry, including ones you might not as expect, such as precious metals, security, and energy, according to Sarah Forger, manager of customer advocacy at American Express OPEN.

As those who made the list demonstrate, a team that functions well has a major competitive edge. To achieve this edge, high-growth companies:

  • Find the best people
  • Provide the knowledge and training they need to succeed
  • Empower them to be responsible and accountable
  • Reward them for a job well done

For ideas about how to do this, check out How Changing Corporate Culture Is Good for Business and for Employees.

» Read the full article at Forbes.

About the guest blogger: Geri Stengel is Founder of Ventureneer, providing knowledge and resources for values driven businesses. She is a Kauffman FastTrac GrowthVenture facilitator, former adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, and past board member of the NYC Chapter of the National Association of Business Women Owners, she understands the unique challenges women entrepreneurs face when growing their beyond $1 million. She blogs regularly at Vistas. Follow her on Twitter at @ventureneer.