Canada's Top Female Entrepreneurs for 2015: Rising Stars

These women didn't quite make the PROFIT W100, but watch out for them in the future

Written by PROFIT Staff

The women on the 2015 PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 Ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs run some of the country’s most successful businesses.

But with a fixed number of spots on our annual ranking, we have the unhappy task of leaving out impressive businesswomen with incredible companies. These 10 women saw high levels of profitability and growth in recent years. While they didn’t quite make the W100, watch for them in the future.

Anila Adnan

Whitehall Suites | Mississauga, Ont.
Offers short-term accommodation
Starting with just two furnished apartments in Mississauga, Adnan has grown the business to 33 units across the GTA. Whitehall’s clientele is a mix of out-of-town corporate travellers visiting the country’s commercial capital on business and families looking for temporary housing as they renovate or move between homes. The company uses it’s online presence to attract customers, including “using LinkedIn to target people with specific jobs,” Adnan says.

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Sara Hodson

Live Well Exercise Clinic | Surrey, B.C.
Designs exercise programs
Live Well’s medical exercise programs fill a gap in the healthcare market says Hodson. “Physicians are being strongly encouraged and educated to prescribe exercise, but there was no where for their patients to go,” she explains. As Hodson rolls out her franchise model, she’ll have the support and advice of a legendary healthcare entrepreneur: John DeHart, founder of the PROFIT 500 ranked Nurse Next Door. “He shares the business passion with me but has years upon years of experience to impart to me!” Hodson says of her new business partner.

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Julie Rubin

Elevated Learning Academy | Calgary
Operates fitness training and nutrition colleges
As interest in preventative healthcare grows, there’s an increasing need for trained professionals. Rubin saw the opportunity early: her Calgary campus opened in 2010, with a second facility in Edmonton in 2012. Elevate’s four-month programs are unconventional in the training space. “Offering shorter programs is frowned-upon by more traditional educational institutions, where the perception is that the longer the education, the better it is,” explains Rubin. “We didn’t let that sway us.”

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Meghan Telpner

Academy of Culinary Nutrition | Toronto
Trains 500 nutrition experts annually
After graduating from nutrition school, Telpner grew her company from her kitchen. “I would host intimate six-person cooking classes in my loft,” she remembers. “This grew into larger classes of 25, and eventually into online video-based courses, later transitioning into the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.” While the Academy now works with corporate clients and Telpner is an author and keynote speaker, the all-online courses remain the heart of her business.

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Sari Delmar

AB Co. | Toronto
Provides music-focused marketing
AB works with some of the biggest names on the Canadian scene across a variety of genres, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the new WayHome Music & Arts festival. They’re drawn in by Delmar’s considerable experience in the industry, including time at a couple of record labels, a stint as a tour manager, and years spent producing zines out of her bedroom. It helps that Delmar personally handles sales and business development. “Having them see the CEO of the company approach them and building a genuine connection lays the groundwork for a sale to be locked in and a longstanding business relationship to be formed,” she explains.

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Zan Romeder & Amrita Ahuja

Vital Body Weight Loss and Wellness Centre | Burnaby, B.C.
Provides weight-loss coaching
Even in the digital age, some services simply can’t be offered online. “Clients must come to the centre for a weekly check in as the 1:1 coaching and education is a key part of losing weight successfully and keeping it off,” explains Romeder. That close focus on results extends to the company itself—the Centre recently completed a thorough review of its programs, products and partnerships called Project Simplify. “We really became super focused after diluting what we were doing a number of times,” Romeder explains.

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Ashley Ramsay

Yeti Farm Creative | Kelowna, B.C.
Operates an animation studio
While Yeti Farm now works with major clients like Electronic Arts and Atomic Cartoons, Ramsay seeks to maintain its small company culture. “I think that helps us never lose sight of the little things, like responding to an applicant straight up and jumping in on team challenges to help solve them,” she says.

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Tracy Rossetti

MyBabbo | Toronto
Produces photo tributes for funeral homes
Using a remote workforce doesn’t stop MyBabbo from offering a 24-hour turnaround for it’s products. “We hire moms who desire to have a family first work life,” Rossetti explains. “They make their own hours and work from home.”

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Roxanne Pettipas

Class Art Productions | Toronto
Designs high-end pet accessories
Like many entrepreneurs, Pettipas built a business around solving a pain point she that she had personally experienced. Traditional collar-and-leash arrangements didn’t work for Pettipas’ miniature dachshund, Buddy, so she designed her own. She jokes that her small dog has also taught her an important lesson about entrepreneurship. “The most valuable thing I’ve learned about doing business is to act bigger than you are, without biting off more than you can chew (like a Dachshund),” she says.

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Sharon Vinderine

PTPA Media | Concord, Ont.
Provides an award program for consumer products
Too many awards simply declare everyone who applies an automatic winner, according to Vinderine. The Parent Tested Parent Approved Awards “puts products in the hands of real families for evaluation,” says Vinderine. The results of those evaluations are then passed on to product manufacturers, providing a tangible benefit beyond another logo to put on their packaging.

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