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Canada's Top Women Entrepreneurs defy stereotypes

PROFIT W100 ranking showcases 100 gutsy female entrepreneurs driving some
    of the country's most robust businesses in non-traditional fields

TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ – They work in construction, transportation and IT. They manufacture software, semiconductors, golf clubs and fishing rods. They have grown their revenues an average of 157% over the past three years and collectively employ 14,078 workers. They generated $4.2 billion in revenue last year, and they firmly dispel the notion that female entrepreneurs run small, slow-growing businesses in a narrow range of “soft” industries.

Canadian women aren’t only starting small and medium-sized businesses at twice the rate of men; they’re driving some of this country’s most dynamic and robust businesses as well. You’ll find many of these enviable leaders on this year’s PROFIT W100 list of Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs. W100 winners not only cover a wide range of businesses but also span the country – from Coquitlam, B.C., to New Minas, N.S.

Now in its 11th year, the PROFIT W100 is bigger and more inclusive. Previously based on annual company revenue alone, the 2009 W100 also takes the firm’s growth rate and profitability into account, allowing smaller companies to be recognized for their achievements; indeed, more than 30% of this year’s honourees are new to the list.

This year's top 5 winners, ranked by combination of revenue, growth rate
    and profitability:

    Rank  Name, title        Company, City,        Type of        Revenue ($)
                             Website               business
    1.    Betty Anne         Airline Hotels and    Hotel           45,520,558
          Latrace-Henderson  Resorts (Saskatoon)   owner and
          (President)  operator
    2.    Gabrielle          Solutions 2 Go Inc.   Video-game     708,759,468
          Chevalier          (Mississauga, Ont.)   distributor
          (President & COO)
    3.    Rebecca MacDonald  Just Energy Income    Offers       1,899,200,233
          (Executive Chair)  Fund (Toronto)        fixed-price
                             gas and
    4.    Tarana Nina Gupta  Greenlite Lighting    Manufactures    26,710,563
          (President & CEO)  Corp.                 compact
                             (Pointe-Claire, Que.) fluorescent
                         light bulbs
    5.    Sylvia Benchimol   Stone Tile            Tile importer   32,527,097
          (President)        International Inc.    and
                             (Toronto)             distributor


Sector by sector, here’s what the W100 do:

Business services        38
    Manufacturing            17
    Consumer services        14
    Wholesale/distribution   13
    Retail                    7
    Construction              6
    Software development      3
    Agricultural production   2

To see the complete list of winners, visit or find a copy at newsstands across the country.


Nataliya Hearn is president and CEO of Element 21 Golf Company, the fastest-growing firm on the 2009 W100, with three-year revenue growth of 1,918%. She attributes her success to her highly innovative products (advanced scandium alloy golf and fishing equipment) and effective niche marketing.

While Element 21’s technology could revolutionize the golf club, first Hearn must make the classic entrepreneurial choice: partner with a giant and share the spoils, or go it alone at higher risk.

PROFIT talks to Hearn and other W100 winners about the pros, cons and considerations when it comes to partnering up.

How we ranked them:

The W100 as well as the Up and Comers – a new listing featuring female entrepreneurs with emerging companies – are ranked on a composite scored based on the size, growth rate and profitability of their businesses. Figures were verified through financial statements. All growth rates were based on base-year revenue of at least $200,000.


PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent publication dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For more than 25 years, Canadian entrepreneurs across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them increase their revenues, boost their profitability and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. Published six times a year by Rogers Publishing Ltd., PROFIT is distributed almost exclusively to the chief executives of companies with 5 to 250 employees and annual revenue of $1 million to $25 million, reaching more than 300,000 readers across Canada. Visit PROFIT online at