It's the PROFIT 500!

How we've reinvented the Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies program to produce irresistible opportunities for businesses like yours

Written by Ian Portsmouth

Just about every entrepreneur will tell you that one of their keys to startup success was to tune out all the naysayers who claimed their business shouldn’t—or couldn’t—be launched.

The same goes for PROFIT’s annual ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

When the program was conceived with the modest ambition of listing the country’s 50 fastest-growing firms, some questioned whether we’d be able to find that many. It was 1988, when the popular perception of succeeding in business meant running a big business. (Start your own company? Why don’t you go out and get a real job?)

Things are different today. We’re in the midst of an entrepreneurial boom, something we here at PROFIT like to think we sparked in part with our Canada’s Fastest- Growing Companies initiative. After all, the program places the country’s most dynamic businesses and the entrepreneurial innovators who run them on a pedestal for all to see and learn from. When PROFIT celebrates their success and tells their inspiring stories, the winning companies seize the attention of potential customers, employees and investors, plus other media outlets that shower them with even more positive publicity.

That virtuous circle has benefited many businesses over the years, cementing their industry status while fueling further growth. So, here’s some exciting news: this year, the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program is taking the biggest leap forward in its history. Since 1999, we’ve listed 200 companies each year; this June, we’ll recognize and reward the firms of the PROFIT 500.

I encourage you to put your company—or one you admire—in the running.

The PROFIT 500 has not been launched out of bravado or merely to make a big anniversary splash. Rather, it gives the program the critical mass required to create more value for our primary customers—entrepreneurs like you.

Participants tell us they’d like the opportunity to be grouped with their industry peers, so this year we’ll be able to complement the main list with sector-specific rankings. There will be regional and local rankings, too.

Speaking of location, we’ll be holding regional PROFIT 500 conferences in addition to the national PROFIT 500 CEO Summit that will take place in Toronto in June.

You might appreciate other changes we are ushering in with the PROFIT 500 even more. For instance, competitive reasons have prevented some companies from releasing the financial details we require to compile the ranking. So, this year, we won’t publish anything pertaining to profitability, and we’ll express the revenue of private firms as a range (e.g., $2 million to $5 million).

Despite its size, the PROFIT 500 will remain a very exclusive list; after all, just 500 of the million-plus companies in Canada will make the cut. It’s the kind of list we think you’d like to be on.

Declare your candidacy for the PROFIT 500 with the short ballot online at

Growing the PROFIT 500 creates many new opportunities for businesses like yours. I hope you’ll grow with us.

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