A lot can happen in a year. The optimism of 2008 has given way to a seriousness not previously known to the women on this year's list. Too young to have learned from the last recession, they've found themselves in the business deep end without armbands. Which gives us even more reason to celebrate their exceptional success - if you can make it now, you can make it any time.
Check out MT's '35 Women Under 35 2009' feature as a PDF
Our 2009 line-up is notable for a number of reasons. Although the average age remains the same as last year - just 31 - we feature the youngest-ever to appear on the list. Inventor Ruth Amos is 19, and is taking three years out after her A-levels to build her StairSteady business. 'My age is not only my biggest help but my biggest hindrance,' she says with a confidence that belies her youth. 'When I started off, every major bank refused me business banking, and that was something that hit me really hard.'