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The 2016 consumer is a demanding one. They want what they want, when they want it. They want personalization, and they want control — of their money, their food and their health, and almost everything else.
As we compiled this year’s Brilliant 100, it was immediately clear that the advantages go to smart businesses that create specialized, automated experiences. Consider Qapital, a savings app that may finally trick millennials into financial stability, or Care at Hand, which can predict (and prevent) hospitalization of senior citizens. And along with personalization, consumers want instant gratification — proving the on-demand economy is still very much in demand. According to a recent study by the Aspen Institute, 44 percent of U.S. adults have participated in the system. That’s some 90 million folks buying and selling from one another, pumping cash into their own pockets as well as the overall economy. Check out the links below to see how, from home design to babysitting, this still-emerging industry is about way more than Uber.
This year’s list spotlights another ever-increasing trend in business: women-owned companies. According to the 2012 U.S. Census, women own 36 percent of all businesses, with revenues hitting $1.6 trillion. By 2018, it is expected that women entrepreneurs will be responsible for the creation of more than half of all new small-business jobs. But here’s what we love most about many of the women on this list: They’ve built businesses specifically for women, solving problems that impact half the population but have historically been ignored — from building a better bathing suit to setting an ambitious plan to modernize how we handle menstruation to creating fashion-forward clothing for the modest consumer set.
Intention, impact and profit aside, every company on this list has one thing in common: an idea worth fighting for. Some of these businesses may change the world. Some may strike it rich. And others, well, may not be so lucky. But at the very least, we hope they inspire you as much as they inspire us.
Click these links for more of our Brilliant 100 package.
Fashion, retail and design
Finance and capital
Food and farming