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Recession creates nation of entrepreneurs

Some of the country's biggest companies, from Microsoft to Genentech, were founded in recessions, depressions or bear markets, according to the Kauffman Foundation. It may surprise some to find that one of the most entrepreneurial states in the country turns out to be... Idaho. Idaho continues to have more patents per capita than any other state and an astonishing number of business starts for a place with just 1.5 million residents.

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Idaho boasts 16 companies on Inc. 5000 in 2011

What recession? Sixteen Idaho companies were among the fastest growing companies in the country during the last three years.

Those companies have had a significant impact on the economy, adding a total of 1,400 jobs during that time.

Scentsy, a Meridian-based firm, ranked in the top 100 with a 3-year growth of 2,904 percent. The company showed revenues of $381.8 million.

Other top companies on the list include Balihoo (Boise), Alligator Diesel Performance (Coeur d’Alene), Valued Merchant Services (Idaho Falls), Sunshine Minting (Coeur d’Alene), ScotteVest (Ketchum) and Bodybuilding.com (Meridian) – all with more than 100 percent growth in that time period.

Of course, the bigger the company, the more difficult it is to achieve double-digit growth. That makes the 81 percent growth of Portage, an engineering services company in Idaho Falls, all the more impressive. The company showed revenues of $245.3 million. North Wind, another Idaho Falls engineering firm, showed revenues of $93.3 million and a 3-year growth of 43 percent.

Others on the list were: EcoAnalysts (Moscow), Porter’s Office Products (Rexburg), PolicyTech (Rexburg), Economic Modeling Specialists (Moscow), Fisher’s Document Systems (Boise), Pita Pit USA (Coeur d’Alene), and Flying Pie Pizzaria (Boise).

Some interesting contacts for an article on entrepreneurs and growing businesses in a down economy:

Idaho healthcare outpaces national rate of growth

Idaho’s healthcare industry is growing faster than the national average, and is expected to continue adding jobs and infrastructure at a rapid pace over the next decade.

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Idaho healthcare outpaces national rate of growth

More than 1,000 new healthcare companies opened their doors in Idaho between 2000 and 2010, bringing the number of employers in this industry to more than 3,740. These companies employed nearly 69,000 workers with total annual wages of $2.75 billion.

Into the near future, healthcare is expected to continue its rapid growth in Idaho, expanding operations and job opportunities around the state. The growth projections reflect the new facilities either recently completed or underway.

In every subsector, jobs in Idaho’s healthcare industry are projected to grow faster than the national average. Between 2009- 2014, jobs at hospitals here are expected to grow by 17 percent, compared to 7 percent nationally. Jobs at nursing and residential care facilities are expected to be up by 20 percent in Idaho compared to 11 percent nationally. The direct health and medical insurance carrier segment is projected to grow by 28 percent between 2009- 2014, compared to 5 percent nationally.

Read more about Idaho’s healthcare section in our Fall 2011 Idaho Business magazine at: www.commerce.idaho.gov/media/media-resources/.

Other healthcare related stories:

Idaho finds success in niche rec-tech industry

When you're developing a rifle scope or ski goggles, doesn't it make sense to have a natural laboratory out your back door?

Idaho has attracted dozens of recreation technology developers and manufacturers as well as start-up businesses that make equipment for the Great Outdoors. Idaho also is attractive to gun manufacturers because of its tort laws.

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Idaho finds success in niche rec-tech industry

When you're developing a rifle scope or ski goggles, doesn't it make sense to have a natural laboratory out your back door?

Idaho has attracted dozens of recreation technology developers and manufacturers as well as start-up businesses that make equipment for the Great Outdoors. Idaho also is attractive to gun manufacturers because of its tort laws. Here are some of the unique companies that are there:

Alternative energy projects heat up in Idaho

Nuclear, biomass, solar, wind and geothermal are hot topics these days, but Idaho has been building on these industries for decades. In addition, the state’s use of hydropower makes electricity rates the second lowest in the nation.

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Alternative energy projects heat up in Idaho

Nuclear, biomass, solar, wind and geothermal are hot topics these days, but Idaho has been building on these industries for decades.

With federal stimulus and investment money bringing new projects online quickly, Idaho has a unique headstart.

Some of the stories include:

Read more about Idaho’s energy industry in the Spring 2011 Idaho Business magazine at:
www.commerce.idaho.gov/media/media-resources/

Additional stories are: