For the past 19 years, this magazine has surveyed the entrepreneurs who run Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Our research effort, which begins in earnest in December and ends in late May, turns up countless ideas and insights related to building a Canadian business in the global economy.
Much of that information is in the following pages of this special issue, but there are, inevitably, many facts and figures that never make it to print. So here are five things I think you’d like to know about the PROFIT 100, but never knew to ask:
1. Only five individuals in PROFIT 100 history have led more than one company onto the ranking, and three of them are on this year’s list. Back for a second year running is Don Schafer of Brahma Compression Ltd., which ranks 14th; his former company, fast-food franchisor Comac Food Group Inc., made the PROFIT 100 from 1994 through 1997. There’s also Razor Suleman, whose promotional-products distributorship, Razor’s Edge, attained PROFIT 100 honours in 1999 and 2000; this year, he’s at the helm of I Love Rewards Inc. (No. 12). Finally, there’s Edmonton’s Gordon Reykdal, whose rent-to-own furniture chain RTO Enterprises Inc. placed second in 1998; he now runs Rentcash Inc., this year’s fastest-growing firm.
2. In 2003, a record 10 firms run by female chief executives made the list. This year, only three women entrepreneurs are on the list, the fewest since 1995.
3. The TSX Venture Exchange’s Capital Pool Company (CPC) program allows people to form non-operating shell companies and take them public, thus raising the cash necessary to acquire an operating company with good growth prospects. The CPC process is useful to seasoned execs who have money and managerial acumen but no great business idea, and also to smaller firms that have high potential but lack the capital to realize it. Fully 11 of this year’s PROFIT 100 went the CPC route.
4. This year, five PROFIT 100 firms hail from Atlantic Canada, equalling a high set last year. On a per-capita basis, however, the East Coast is underrepresented: the national average is one PROFIT 100 winner for every 328,000 residents, but the Atlantic ratio is one to 466,000. Also, no firms from Saskatchewan or the territories made this year’s top 100, a statistic everyone would like to see change.
5. On June 11 and 12, the chief executives of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies will attend the PROFIT 100 CEO Summit in Toronto. This invitation-only event will give them the rare opportunity to discuss their challenges and best practices with the only people who really know where they’re coming from: other growth-company CEOs. They’ll also hear great speakers, such as Jack Daly and Harry Rosen, address issues from customer loyalty to the global economy. Want to attend next year’s conference? There’s only one way in: become a PROFIT 100 company. Be sure to declare your candidacy for next year’s ranking at www.profit100.com.
Have an enjoyable—and profitable—summer.