FOUNDER, P RESIDENT AND CEO, MERCHANT ADVANCE CAPITAL
“It was always a question about when I would start my own business–not a question of if,” says David Gens. His father, older brother and uncle each owned companies and served as early role models for him. He always thought it would be more rewarding to run his own enterprise than to work for others.
After earning a finance degree from UBC'S Sauder School of Business in 2009, Gens was working as a private equity analyst when he read about companies in the U.S. creating what would become his business model for Vancouver-based Merchant Advance. Small storefront businesses like hair salons and auto repair shops often struggle to find financing. Gens's firm offers these companies loans and collects on them by taking a portion of daily debit and credit card sales. Merchant Advance, which now has 50 employees, has provided working capital to more than 2,300 Canadian small and medium-sized companies. –D.H.