study conducted by Merchant Machine

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

Top industries for fast-growing companies

Technology ranks as the top industry accounting for the most fastest-growing companies in the list (1,360 analysed). The technology industry accounts for 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 industries for projected growth in the UK & US

Merchant Machine analysed the projected industry growth by employment between 2018 and 2024 to find the top 10 industries leading the way in the UK and the US.

The UK’s accommodation and food industry is expected to have the highest growth rate (8.2%) followed by tech & IT (8.1%) and construction (6.8%).

In the US, the top 3 industries with the highest projected growth between 2018 and 2028 are health care and social (17%), educational services (12.7%) and construction (11.1%).

The numbers show that, in general, there’s a higher projected employment growth in the US than the UK. The highest growth projected in the US sits at 17% for health care and social versus 8.2% for the accommodation and food industry in the UK. 

There is a big difference in the projected employment growth in the health & social sector, which ranks 1st in the US (17%) and 10th in the UK (3.1%). However, the data also shows that construction has the same ranking across both the UK and the US (3rd place), as does the professional services industry which ranks 5th for employment growth.

Top countries with the most fast-growing companies

Merchant Machine analysed 1,360 companies across Europe and the US and found which countries hold the most 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%.

Software company is the 3rd fastest-growing company with a female CEO and is led by Ari Paparo from New York. They generated an absolute growth rate of  5,262% with their 56 employees. 

Companies with the highest growth rate per employee

Looking at the number of employees at all 1,360 companies, the study’s found the top 3 companies with the highest growth generated per employee by dividing the absolute growth rate by the number of employees:




Absolute growth rate 2015-2018 (%)

Employees (2018)

Growth per employee








Bear Mattress

Personal & Household Goods





NuLeaf Naturals






Ian Wright 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.”

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