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iFinance Canada Inc.

2011 SAWIB WinnerCompany: iFinance Canada Inc.
Company Description: iFinance Canada is Canada's largest and most recognized lender of unsecured consumer loans mainly for medical, dental, veterinary procedures and products. Founded in 1996, Ann Kaplan employees over fifty people and has won numerous awards for entrepreneurship growth and leadership.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Canadian Entrepreneur

Nomination Title: Ann Kaplan, President & CEO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

Recognizing that the government was cutting back on health insurance coverage, Ann Kaplan founded a Company in 1995 to help those who did not have alternate means to pay for a medical procedure. She founded Medicard (now ifici; iFinance Canada) to provide unsecured consumer loans to individuals seeking treatment.

At the time Ann was a single mother with two children with little means to support her self, let alone offer money to others. However, she did not let that deter her and set out to raise money to support her business plan.Her vision was initially a difficult sell, but in 1996 one of Canada’s leading banks provided a line of credit for $5m and the Company was, as they say, “in business”.

In the first thirteen months Ann loaned $1m dollars to individuals seeking medical treatment, the following month she loaned an equal amount and the demand continued at an extraordinary pace…not only had the Government cut back on what they were covering (medically) but it was the beginning of the cosmetic enhancement boom and laser eye surgery was just taking off. Fast forward sixteen years: ifici has loaned over $200,000,000 with revenues consistently over $25m per annum. The ability to fund the growth and meet targets, especially through fluctuating economy, had forced Ann to reach out to other institutions to provide debt, last year alone she raised $72m in institutional financing.

Some of her efforts have not gone unrecognized, since founding the business Ann has received the Ernst and Young Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award, The Peak Award of Excellence in Finance, and The Canadian Mompreneur Award. She has also been recognized over seven times in the top 100 Companies for Growth in Canada (Profit Magazine Award) and Six Times in the Top 100 Women. Ann is also currently recognized as one of Canada’s top most influential women (2nd year)…however, her achievements do not stop at Awards.

Although Ann was very business running a corporation, she managed to have four more children and continue some personal pursuits. Ann also hosted three national television shows (currently a new one on-line: and is a recognized public speaker motivating women entrepreneurs and speaking at Universities. She has written two books (one of which was picked up as a gift for celebrities at the Emmy’s last year and the Toronto Film Festival). In the past 8 years she has also completed her MBA, MSc, a degree in Corporate Governance and is writing her Doctoral Theses’ on Spirituality in Business and an Empirical Analysis of Consumer Defaults, developing an Algorithm that can be used as a loan default predictor.

Ann Kaplan is an entrepreneur, but more passionately a mother and daughter (she looks after her disabled mother after breaking her neck in a fall last year) which she views as a blessing. She balances her time between family and office where she focuses fully on the situation to hand. She enjoys cooking, writing and fishing (yes fishing) where she finds frustration each time she hands the rod to her children to reel in the catch.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

The following are Company's Ann Kaplan owns and operates:

Online Television Show:

Personal website:

Some recent articles:

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):

Ann Kaplan is the CEO and President of ifici (iFinance Canada Inc.), the parent company to Medicard, Petcard and Dentalcard. Ms Kaplan is the recipient of many awrds: Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award; Peak Award of Excellence; Stevie Award for Women in Business/International; Canada’s Mompreneur of The Year, six times Canada’s Profit 100; six times Canadian W100; one of Canada’s most inspirational women; one of Canada’s top three Female Business Leaders; twice as Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

Ms. Kaplan has a MBA, MSc, a Corporate Governance Designation (ICD.d) and is completing her PhD Thesis in Business and Doctor of Business at Henley University. She has written two books and resides in Toronto.