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Ahead of the Pack

Gazelle 2.0 companies are growing by leaps and bounds.

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This story appears in the January 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Let's take a stroll down memory lane. About a decade ago, when entrepreneurs were the toast of the town, Cognetics Research identified a sub-set of business owners who were the cr?me de la cr?me. These leaders of the pack were dubbed "gazelles," after a type of antelope that is not only one of the fastest animals on earth, but is also capable of sustaining high speeds for extended periods of time.

In fact, from 1994 to 1998, one of the prime boom times of the '90s, America's 288,636 gazelles (which comprised about 2 percent of all U.S. companies at the time) created more than 8 million new jobs, accounting for 68 percent of all net new jobs at that time. After the dotcom bomb, gazelles were still fueling the U.S. economy (creating more than 200 percent of American jobs from 1998 to 2002), but no one talked about them anymore; they became a fond memory of "the good times."

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