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Entrepreneur and Dun & Bradstreet pick the 100 hottest new small businesses in America.

This story appears in the June 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When you start a business, it's natural to hope for phenomenal growth. For a select few, this hope doesn't dwindle into a mere echo of ambition but swells into something greater: reality. For those rising stars chosen in Entrepreneur's third annual ranking of the nation's 100 fastest-growing small businesses, the American dream is anything but an illusion.

This year's ranking has been our most challenging, not only because there are more new businesses to choose from, but also because the quality of today's business start-ups is so high. "Small-business entrepreneurs are a lot more professional and educated than they were years ago," says Larry Winters of Dun & Bradstreet, the world's leading provider of commercial credit, business marketing information, and receivable management services. "These people aren't starting businesses out of economic need because they can't get a job somewhere else-they're starting businesses because they want to be [business owners]."

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