#HCAwarenessWeek: 5 Fierce Women Business Owners Ranked by the WPO

More women than ever are starting up their own businesses. This isn’t just a passing phase or a trend. The percentage of women-owned businesses has jumped to 45 percent in the last 10 years. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 1.6 million firms are owned by women, generating $1.7 trillion in sales altogether. In a world seemingly dominated by their male counterpart, women are taking the business world by storm. We can learn a lot from all women entrepreneurs, but five of these boss babes stood out the most from the crowd. The Women Presidents' Organization ranks the fastest growing women-owned businesses each year; here’s who made the list in 2018.

1. Nina Vaca

Nina Vaca is the CEO and entrepreneur of Pinnacle Group, a workforce solutions provider, which was named the fastest growing woman-owned business in 2018 by the WPO. She founded Pinnacle in her living room when she was just 25 years old. Vaca also has just been elected as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which is a prestigious nonprofit organization that specializes in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs.

“As the third of five children born to Ecuadorian immigrants, I embraced my parents’ vision of the American dream: to create a better life through entrepreneurship and civic leadership,” Vaca said.

After being named the fastest growing woman-owned business, Pinnacle shows no signs of slowing down under the leadership of Vaca.


2. Ellen Lathan

Orange Theory Fitness was ranked the fastest growing woman-owned business in 2017 and the second fastest growing in 2018. Latham co-founded her business with $50,000 from her personal savings in 2011. Orange Theory has reported $451 million in revenue from over 630 locations from across the United States. These fitness classes are about 60 minutes long and include cardio, weight training and heart-rate monitors.

“This is where you have to really believe in your potential. You have to believe that you can live a certain life while you're on this earth. You have to believe and tell yourself on a daily basis, 'Why not me?'” she said.

Latham’s can-do attitude is a perfect example for other aspiring women entrepreneurs.


3. Nicole Sahin

Globalization Partners was founded by Nicole Sahin in 2012. Her business helps other businesses expand into new countries so that owners don’t have to deal with logistics like local tax and labor laws. Globalization Partners take responsibility for the administrative work of global business expansion.

“There’s no blueprint. It can be overwhelming, so take it day by day and build as you go," Sahin said. "It’s good to have a vision, but breaking it into bite-size chunks is also valuable."

Sahin’s business was ranked third by the WPO in 2018. Her ambition and work ethic has brought her straight to the top.


4. Tierra Kavanaugh Wayne

TKT & Associates, Inc. was founded by Tierra Kavanaugh Wayne in 2006. TKT specializes in business service solutions to help small businesses thrive. One of the goals of TKT is to teach clients about supplier diversity management programs. Wayne’s business’s revenue plunged by 90 percent in 2013, which resulted in her letting go of all her employees and losing big contracts. TKT’s future seemed bleak. Wayne managed an incredible turnaround in 2014, causing its revenue to increase by 1,750 percent. Ever since TKT has been thriving and continues to top the charts of business ranks like the WPO.


5. Phyllis Newhouse

Newhouse founded her business, Xtreme Solutions Inc. in 2002 after retiring from the United States Army. Xtreme Solutions Inc. offers a wide range of IT services and solutions. Newhouse has also launched “Shoulder Up” with actress Viola Davis. Shoulder Up is a movement that teaches young women how to represent their economic power and voice of influence.

“If you have leadership on the [football] field, you can have it off the field," Newhouse said. "If you have leadership in the military, you can have it outside the military. It’s taking what you have — the dedication and the fundamentals of leadership — and building upon that in the next phase, in the next chapter."

Her leadership and dedication to business and women’s empowerment have led her to rank fifth by the WPO.