iFinance Canada Inc.
Company: iFinance Canada Inc.
Company Description: For seventeen years iFinance Canada has been Canada’s leading provider of (non- bank) consumer loans. Founded in 1996 by President and CEO, Ann Kaplan, iFinance Canada employs over sixty people through four centers and offers its services through 8000 outlets. With an innovative, profitable model, the Company has consistently been recognized with numerous awards nationally and internationally.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Canada
Nomination Title: Ann Kaplan, President & CEO
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
In the past year Ann Kaplan has continued to grow her national consumer finance business, a Company she founded in 1996, achieving a benchmark of over $.75 Billion in loans applications to date and a portfolio that has funded over $200 Million in small consumer loans. Already servicing the consumer lending sector for Medical, Dental and Veterinary loans (through over 8000 doctors in Canada), Ann took the business to another level and opened up consumer lending for Home Improvement Financing (iFinance Home Improvement) and recently PayDay Loans (iFinance PayDay Loans). These new verticals (for lending) were welcomed by her business partners and institutions where (this year) borrowing capacity increased by 25% (further 20 Million dollars in available funding). The combined interest revenue of these businesses continues to be in excess of $25 Million per annum and has been profitable since 2003.
With the consumer lending business running smoothly, Ann utilized the business relationships developed in the industries she services and continued to grow the online auction business for doctors – CosMecList.com., a subsidiary of iFinance Canada, this Company recognizes it’s revenue through advertising and auction listing costs.
In early January Ann branched out to the insurance business – she founded and runs First Creditors Insurance (creditors life and disability insurance for the consumer loans the Company provides). The Insurance Company has been profitable since inception, has repaid debt for reserves and (once the first anniversary has been recognized) the insurance services will be offered to other Companies.
On the personal front, in September of 2012, Ann completed her fourth book – Fashion Cares, a limited edition commemorative issue (496 pages) – she donated the proceeds to The Elton John Aids Foundation and ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto). Elton John himself personally thanked her at an event in Toronto in September 2012. Ann is now completing a fifth book hoping to inspire women entrepreneurs (expected launch in January 2014).
Academically driven, Ann completed her last presentation in June, 2013 before defending her doctoral thesis (Rotman School of Business in conjunction with Henley Business School, UK). This year she was invited (and accepted) to sit on the Steering Committee of the Rotman School of Business and sits on three academic boards and committees in England (Reading University/Henley School of Business). The Company is giving back to the Rotman Business School and agreed (this June) to place its name on part of the University “The iFinance Canada Thinktank”.
Her efforts and those of her employees have not gone unnoticed. In 2013: Ann has been named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, she is being honored with a special award by Profit Magazine for her continued growth, and placed for the ninth time as one of Canada’s Top 10 Companies (unprecedented) and was listed for the eighth times on the W100 for Canada. This year Ann will also be the recipient for the third time as one of Canada’s most Powerful Women. In 2013 the Company also placed in two categories for an International Stevie Award.
At home Ann is a busy mother of six, soon to be seven (sponsoring an Ethiopian Child).
Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 125 words):
Ann Kaplan is the CEO and President of iFinance Canada (founded 1996), parent to Medicard, Petcard, Dentalcard, iFinance Home Improvement and iFinance PayDay Loans. Ms Kaplan also founded First Creditor’s Insurance and CosmedicList.com (online auction portal for Doctors). Ann hosted three television shows, is a regular guest speaker internationally, and has been featured in >300 publications. Ms Kaplan is the recipient of: Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Year Award, Peak Award of Excellence, 9X Canada’s Profit 100 list, 8X Canada W100 list, thrice listed as one of Canada’s Most Influential Women and is a past Stevie Award winner. Ann has written four books, has a MBA, MSc, a Corporate Governance Degree (ICI.d) and is a Doctoral researcher. She resides in Toronto and is the mother of six.