A high-growth company that is increasing its revenues by at least 20% annually for four years or more, starting from a revenue base of at least $1 million. This growth pace means that the company has effectively doubled its revenues over a four-year period. As gazelle companies are characterized by their rapid growth pace, rather than their absolute size, they can range in size from small companies to very large enterprises.
David Birch's identification of gazelle companies followed from his 1979 report titled "The Job Generation Process," wherein he identified small companies as the biggest creators of new jobs in the economy. Birch estimated that gazelles accounted for only 4% of all U.S. companies, but accounted for 70% of all new jobs. Birch noted that the growth pace of gazelle companies far outpaced that of the Fortune 500 "elephants" and Main Street "mice."
Investment dictionary. Academic. 2012.
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