The Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies—formerly known as the PROFIT 500—is Canada’s most prestigious celebration of entrepreneurial success. Nominations for 2018 are now closed. Click here to learn more about the ranking.

Coming soon:

The 2018 Growth 500!

Who will be Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies? This year's winners will be announced on

September 13, 2018

Join the winner’s circle

Please note: Nominations for the 2018 ranking are now closed.
Celebrating its 30th year of ranking Canadian companies on five-year revenue growth in 2018, the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies—formerly known as the PROFIT 500—is far and away Canada’s largest annual celebration of entrepreneurial achievement. Winners join an elite community of our country’s most successful, vibrant and important businesses. There are many reasons to enter, including valuable editorial exposure in Maclean’s and Canadian Business (reaching millions of readers from coast to coast), plus the opportunity to attend the 2018 Growth 500 CEO Summit, an exclusive event designed specifically for the leaders of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies.

Startups welcome

Too young for the Growth 500? Not to worry! We also celebrate younger companies (that is, businesses that are less than five years old) with strong two-year revenue growth with the STARTUP 50, a special companion ranking dedicated to Canada’s Top New Growth Companies! (If you’d like to learn more about our rankings or our eligibility criteria, click here. And if you’d like to learn more about past winners, click here.)

Enter now

It’s easy to enter! While nominations are now closed for the 2018 ranking, we're already seeking winners for 2019. Whether you’re interested in entering the Growth 500 or the Startup 50 for 2019, simply fill out and submit the ballot below to declare your company’s candidacy. If it looks as though your firm is a contender for either ranking, our research team will contact you starting in March 2019 to find out more about your business and to verify your financial data.

We’re here to help

If you have any questions about the Growth 500 or Startup 50 application process, or the rankings in general, please email the Growth 500 research team at growth500@rci.rogers.com.



Frequently Asked Questions

Français: FAQ/Modalités

What is the Growth 500?
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies—previously known as the PROFIT 500—ranks Canada’s top private and public companies based on five-year revenue growth. Results of the annual ranking, with stories profiling the growth leaders who make the list, will be published in a special report in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine (reaching millions of readers from coast to coast) and at CanadianBusiness.com. Quebec-based winners are also featured in L’actualité magazine’s ranking of Les Leaders de la croissance.

What is the Startup 50?
Because the Growth 500 is based on five-year revenue growth, businesses must be at least five years old to be eligible. But we believe fast-growing younger firms deserve commendation, too. So in 2018 we are also celebrating the growth of younger companies with the Startup 50 ranking of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies, a companion to the Growth 500 that ranks public and private firms on two-year revenue growth.

Why should my company enter the Growth 500 or Startup 50?
The Growth 500 and Startup 50 are designed to celebrate winning companies, and past winners report they have benefited in many ways from their appearance on the list. In addition to national media coverage in Maclean’s and at CanadianBusiness.com, many winners get publicity from local and industry-specific media outlets. It is common for winners to see increased employee motivation, receive industry accolades and make contacts with potential new customers and collaborators. We also honour winning firms at an exclusive CEO Summit, featuring top-tier speakers and unparalleled networking opportunities. Finally, there’s also the sheer satisfaction that comes from knowing your business is among Canada’s best.

Ranking Methodology

How are the Growth 500 and Startup 50 ranked?
The Growth 500 ranks firms by their percentage sales growth over the past five years. For the 2018 ranking, participating firms must reveal their gross revenues for 2012 and 2017 (or 2013 and 2018, where 2018 results are available). The Startup 50 ranks younger companies (founded after July 1, 2012 for the 2018 ranking) on two-year sales growth. Participating Startup 50 candidates must reveal their gross revenues for 2015 and 2017 (or 2016 and 2018, where 2018 results are available).

What financial information will be published about the companies?
To best serve participating companies, Canadian Business and the Growth 500 adhere to the following guidelines regarding the financial information we publish about winners:
  • Revenue figures for the most recent year (e.g., 2017) will be published only as a range (e.g., an actual revenue figure of $3.7 million will be published as “$2-5 million”)
  • We will not publish revenue figures for the base year used in our calculations (e.g., 2012 for Growth 500 candidates; 2015 for Startup 50 candidates), though we will require that information for verification purposes
  • We will not publish any information about the profitability of individual companies
  • Sample:  The financial information accompanying a winning firm’s 2018 PROFIT 500 listing might be presented like this: “EntrantCompany Ltd. / 2017 revenue: $2-5 million / 5-year growth: 127%.” (Click here to review the information published on 2017 winners)

How is revenue recognized for the ranking?
We define gross annual revenue per generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Sales that cannot be booked as revenue under GAAP do not count for the purposes of the Growth 500. (For instance, a travel agency can claim as revenue its commissions on airline tickets sold, but not the total dollar value of the tickets.) Gross revenue must be reported net of returns and discounts. Franchisors must report corporate revenue only.

How are candidates’ claims verified?
All candidates must submit complete financial statements for the fiscal periods used to calculate a five-year (for Growth 500 candidates) or two-year (for Startup 50 candidates) growth rate. Our policy of verifying financial statements is what give the Growth 500 and Startup 50 credibility, and is a mandatory step for prospective winners. Companies that fail to provide financial statements will not be considered for the Growth 500 or the Startup 50.

Eligibility Requirements

Who can enter the rankings?
To qualify for the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, or the Startup 50 ranking of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies, a company must:
  • Be headquartered in Canada with significant operations in Canada
  • Be independent (i.e., not a division or subsidiary, unless the parent company is strictly a holding company)
  • Have majority Canadian ownership if owned by private individuals or companies. (Public or venture-backed companies with 50% or less Canadian ownership will be judged on a case-by-case basis)
  • Operate at arm’s length from related companies that have also declared their candidacy for the ranking (See “Can related companies apply separately?” below)

What are the revenue requirements for the Growth 500?
There is no maximum revenue limit for the Growth 500. Minimum revenue requirements apply as follows:
  • In the most recent fiscal year used in the five-year growth calculation (e.g., 2017): Growth 500 companies must have revenue of $2 million or more
  • In the base year used in the five-year growth calculation (e.g., 2012), qualifying companies must have been generating operating revenue
  • In the base year used in the five-year growth calculation (e.g., 2012), any companies with revenue of less than $200,000 will have their revenue for that period lifted to $200,000 for the purpose of calculating five-year growth that is not grossly exaggerated by immaterial differences in the base-year revenues of otherwise equal candidates (for instance, a company that grows from $1 to $2 million would have a higher growth rate than a company that grows from $2 to $3 million). Here’s a sample calculation that shows how this works: A company that reports 2017 revenue of $2.2 million and 2012 revenue of $100,000 would be assigned the minimum 2012 revenue of $200,000, resulting in a five-year growth rate of 1,000%: (2,200,000 – 200,000) / 200,000) * 100 = 1,000%.

What are the revenue and eligibility requirements for the Startup 50 ranking of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies?
The Startup 50 is meant to celebrate companies that have demonstrated strong growth, but that are not yet five years old (and are therefore do not yet have five years of sales data to measure). We will do that by ranking startups based on two-year revenue growth. Companies are eligible for the 2018 Startup 50 if they started operations between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2015. There is no maximum revenue limit. Minimum revenue requirements apply as follows:
  • In the most recent fiscal year used in the two-year growth calculation (e.g., 2017): startups must have revenue of $1 million or more
  • In the base year used in the two-year growth calculation (e.g., 2015), qualifying companies must have been generating operating revenue
  • In the base year used in the two-year growth calculation (e.g., 2015), any companies with revenue of less than $200,000 will have their revenue for that period lifted to $200,000 for the purpose of calculating two-year growth that is not grossly exaggerated by immaterial differences in the base-year revenues of otherwise equal candidates (for instance, a company that grows from $1 to $2 million would have a higher growth rate than a company that grows from $2 to $3 million). Here’s a sample calculation that shows how this works: A company that reports 2017 revenue of $1.2 million and 2015 revenue of $50,000 would be assigned the minimum 2015 revenue of $200,000, resulting in a five-year growth rate of 500%: (1,200,000 – 200,000) / 200,000) * 100 = 1,100%.

Are non- and not-for-profit enterprises eligible for the Growth 500 or Startup 50?
No.

Are franchisors or franchisees eligible for the Growth 500 or Startup 50?
Franchisors are eligible; Franchisees are not. However, franchisors are ranked by corporate revenue only; they should not report system-wide sales.

Can related companies apply separately?
In the case of related firms that do not operate at arm’s length from one another, only one of those companies is eligible. Also, divisions and subsidiaries are ineligible.

How to Enter

How do I enter my company in the Growth 500 or Startup 50?
Companies must declare their own candidacy in order to participate. Simply fill out a short ballot before the entry deadline of May 31, 2018. If it looks as though your firm is a contender for either the Growth 500 or the Startup 50, we’ll contact you with next steps.

Can my company be on both the Growth 500 and the Startup 50?
No. Your eligibility for either ranking will depend on your founding date, as provided on your entry ballot.

How much does it cost to enter the Growth 500 or Startup 50?
There is no entry fee for either program.

Should we report fiscal or calendar revenues?
Fiscal. For the 2018 ranking, you must report revenues from the most recent fiscal year completed through April 30, 2018 and for the fiscal year five years prior (two years prior for Startup 50 candidates). For instance, the Growth 500 will rank firms with a September 30 year-end on the basis of the fiscal years ending September 30, 2017 and September 30, 2012. In the case of a January 31 year-end, we require revenues as of January 31, 2018 and January 31, 2013.

What if my fiscal year end has changed in the past five years?
We encourage you to enter the rankings using the fiscal year-ends you have on record. Each case will be considered individually.

What if my company reports in U.S. dollars?
Submit your financial information in whatever currency you used for reporting.

What happens after I enter the Growth 500 or Startup 50?
If your company’s growth rate appears to place you on either list, in the spring of 2018 we will contact you to fill out an in-depth candidate’s questionnaire and to verify financial information. Once those steps are complete, if your company remains eligible, we will send your chief executive an email to confirm the financial data we have on file is correct. If your company makes the ranking, you will be informed by July 1, 2018, though please note that we will not reveal any company’s exact position until the ranking is released.

When will the winners be announced?
The 2018 Growth 500 and Startup 50 lists will each be revealed on CanadianBusiness.com on September 13, 2018, and in the October 2018 issue of Maclean’s, on newsstands starting September 13, 2018.

Terms & Conditions

Can my company be disqualified?
Canadian Business, Maclean’s and L’actualité reserve the right to remove any company from the Growth 500, Startup 50 and/or les Leaders de la croissance ranking[s] at any time if we determine the company to be ineligible, or that inclusion of that company would discredit Canadian Business, Maclean’s, L’actualité or their respective ranking programs. Canadian Business, Maclean’s and L’actualité also reserve the right to withdraw invitations to events related to the rankings.

Errors in the rankings
On rare occasions, the growth rates of participants in the Growth 500 program are misstated due to incomplete or inaccurate information provided by participants or errors in the interpretation of that information by our research team. In such instances and upon the request of the participant in question, we may publish a correction notice at our sole discretion to the rankings at CanadianBusiness.com.

For More Information

I still have a question. Who do I contact?
If you need more information, please email the Growth 500 and Startup 50 research team at growth500@rci.rogers.com or call our hotline at 416-987-9270.

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