Five North Texans Make the List of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies

The 13th annual ranking from the Women Presidents' Organization and American Express features the North Texas-based female entrepreneurs behind The Life Coach School, Buzzballz, Akorbi, Enseo, and Save Water Co.

The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and American Express have released the 13th annual ranking of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies. Five companies with North Texas ties made the list.

The Life Coach School (Allen), Buzzballz (Carrollton), Akorbi (Plano), Enseo (Plano), and Save Water Co. rank No. 6, No. 32, No. 39, No. 40, and No. 46 respectively. Save Water Co. is based in Houston, but the Dallas-based founder started the company here.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses across the country, WPO and American Express said these female entrepreneurs continue to demonstrate success and leadership in their industries and communities.

“At a time when bright spots are few and far between, we are thrilled to celebrate the business accomplishments of these 50 inimitable leaders,” Camille Burns, CEO of the Women Presidents’ Organization, said in a statement. “American Express has made it possible to acknowledge the impressive influence women-owned and -led companies have in job creation and growing the global economy.”

The 50 companies sit in a range of industries—healthcare, technology, consulting, and more—and together generated $3.8 billion in revenues from January to December of 2019. Collectively, they employ more than 17,000 people.

Claudia Mirza co-founded Akorbi as a home-based translation business in 2002. The company is now one of the fastest-growing language services companies in the U.S. “The language industry was one of the first to be hit by AI,” Mirza told Dallas Innovates in a 2019 feature on 26 North Texas innovators. The rise of user-generated content and telemedicine also shifted the direction of the company.  [Photo: Michael Samples]

Rankings were determined by a sales growth formula that combined percentage and absolute growth. Per a release, businesses that qualify for the list are required to be privately held, be woman-owned or -led, and have reached annual revenues of at least $500,000 as of 2015 and every subsequent year. WPO membership is not required.

American Express said it is committed to supporting and backing the growth of these female leaders, and are delighted to recognize their success.

“The 50 Fastest Growing Women Owned/Led Companies are a trailblazing group of women who are leading some of the most successful businesses around the globe,” Jessica Ling, Vice President and General Manager, Marketing Strategy, Content and Experiences at American Express, said in a statement. “Not only do women-owned businesses fuel the economy with trillions of dollars in revenue and the millions of jobs they provide, many have also pivoted their offerings and business strategies to provide essential services and accommodate their employees, which has proven to be vital for navigating the pandemic.”

The local women who made the list are:

  • The Life Coach School led by Brooke Castillo: The 16-year old company’s gross revenue grew 408 percent from 2017-2019.
  • Buzzballz, led by Merrilee Kick: The 10-year old company’s gross revenue grew from 20,346,809 to 45,100,921 (+122 percent) from 2017-2019.
  • Akorbi, led by Claudia Mirza: The 17-year old company’s gross revenue grew 40 percent from 2017-2019.
  • Enseo, led by Vanessa Ogle: Enseo is renowned for delivering sustainable innovation to the hospitality and education markets.
  • Save Water Co., led by Katie Anderson: The water conservation company is known for servicing multifamily real estate through analysis and fixture repair.


See the full list here.

This story was updated on July 27 with additional information.

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