The Entrepreneurs’ Forum of Greater Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Business Journal, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) started the Philadelphia 100 in 1988 to honor the fastest-growing, local, small businesses in the greater Philadelphia area. The award gala serves as a celebration of these prospering companies, an exemplification of strategy to other businesses, and a declaration to the government and citizens of the highly important role small businesses play in the local economy. Their potential to grow and innovate provides seamless opportunity – jobs, new technologies, and niche services are being created right next door.
To apply, a company must be an independent, privately held corporation, proprietorship, or partnership. Franchises, subsidiaries, divisions, and fixed-term funds and their management companies are ineligible. Additionally, applicants must have a full three-year sales history with a sales increase from 2013 to 2015, which must include a full 12 month record of 2013 sales. Businesses that have operated in bankruptcy at any point during the contest period through to the time of winner selection are also ineligible. Applicants must have headquarters located in one of the following counties – Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks; New Jersey: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer; Delaware: New Castle.
Companies may nominate themselves or other companies using the Nomination Form now through June 2016 at no cost. Once nominated, companies will be invited to submit an application containing relevant company information. Researchers at the Wharton SBDC use this information to rank the top 100 fastest growing companies based on their percentage increase in sales from 2013 to 2015. Winners will be notified in late August 2016 and will be celebrated at the award gala in October 2016.
The award, being merit-based, is truly one of the highest honors given to an entrepreneurial business because its designation signifies the tangible success and visible growth rate experienced by companies that obtain it. By earning the award, a company not only receives the honor, but the connections and recognition that accompany the prestige of being a winner of the Philadelphia 100. The program has commemorated a number of now large corporations during their entrepreneurial stages right here in the Philadelphia region, including Mothers’ Work, Fiberlink, Urban Outfitters, Forman Mills, Kremer Laser Eye Center, and Primavera Systems.