Young Entrepreneurs Awarded $40,000 in B.C.’s Northwest
ThriveNorth recently announced the winners of the 2nd Annual Business Challenge Competition.
Seven outstanding young and emerging business owners won their share of $40,000 to support their businesses at the second Annual ThriveNorth Business Challenge in Terrace.
The 2016 ThriveNorth Business Challenge winners and runners-up are:
Best New Business
Winner: Bobby Middleton, The Saw Shack, Terrace – $10,000
Runner up: Jill Whitfield, Repose, Terrace – $2,500
Best New Social Enterprise
Winner: Heather Bohn, Our Roots, Terrace – $10,000
Runner up: Andrea Pollock, Island Sugar, Prince Rupert – $2,500
Best Growth Opportunity
Winner: Kristine Ewald and Simone Crook, Transcend Fitness, Terrace – $10,000
Runner up: Johanne Chaine, Peoples Pharmacy, Terrace – $2,500
Audience members voted on their favourite business pitch. Kristine Ewald and Simone Crook of Transcend Fitness won the Audience Award and received an additional $2,500.
The event, which is hosted by Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG (the proposed LNG project on Ridley Island), is part of a five-year initiative that aims to inspire and support people aged 18-39 in the region to launch and grow their own businesses.
The finalists were all from Prince Rupert and Terrace. Since March, they have received training and coaching to help them prepare to face the judges and pitch their businesses.
“It takes a tremendous amount of skill and courage to pursue entrepreneurship,” says Julia Deans, CEO of Futurpreneur Canada. “These finalists did an amazing job delivering their pitches using the skills they learned through the process. On top of the funding for award winners and runners-up, this competition helped all the finalists gain new skills, confidence, networks and support to build thriving businesses in their communities.”
“Congratulations to all of the finalists who pitched their business ideas over the weekend,” says Simon Nish, VP Sustainability with Prince Rupert LNG. “We extend a special congratulations to the winners and runners-up. The young entrepreneurs from last year’s Challenge have had great success. We look forward to seeing what this year’s group of finalists achieve for their businesses and communities.”
More than 100 people came to the R.E.M. Lee Theatre in Terrace to watch the live pitching challenge, which was followed by the awards ceremony.
Through the Business Challenge competition and other activities, ThriveNorth provides emerging business owners with training, financing, mentoring, resources and more to help them in the early stages of their business. Since 2014, the ThriveNorth initiative has funded 19 young entrepreneurs who have created nearly 60 jobs in their communities. ThriveNorth has also provided coaching, training and support to 77 people and helped engage 1,600 members of the community through entrepreneurship-focused events.