Spots for tots

Thirteen years after leaving her lucrative career in a high-tech company to start her own daycare centre, Jennifer Nashmi is one of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs.

In 2002, Jennifer Nashmi went from a lucrative gig as an international controller at a fast-paced high-tech company to a co-owner at a daycare-centre startup. One motivating factor in her decision to change her career path was the hope she’d have more time to spend with her then three-, four- and six-year-old daughters. (Little did she know, her role as a boss would make life even busier.) Thirteen years later, Nashmi — the cofounder and CFO of Kids & Co., her Richmond Hill, Ont.-based startup — is ranked 13th (tied with business partner and CEO Victoria Sopik) in the recently released Profit/Chatelaine W100, which rates Canada’s top female entrepreneurs. Like the thousands of kids who spend their days at more than 45 Kids & Co. daycares across the country, the organization is growing like a weed, thanks to the duo’s entrepreneurial spirit. "One of the keys to our success is simple," Nashmi says. "Our innovative secret sauce is that we don’t charge parents late fees when they’re not on time picking up their kids."