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BDC's YEA - A stop on the road to success


BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards – a stop on the road to success

Montreal, Quebec, May 15, 2006 - BDC is searching for top business entrepreneurs from across Canada for the 2006 Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA), which will be presented on October 17th during Small Business Week®. The thirteen awards – one for each province and territory – celebrate the business and leadership accomplishments of young entrepreneurs, preparing them for a bright future. Past editions of the YEA have proved to be an important stepping stone in the life of successful Canadian business owners.

Just ask sisters Hannah and Alison McIver, 2004 Young Entrepreneur Awards recipients, who sold their Ontario-based business, Agribiotics, to German Merck KgaA for 20 million Euros. Or check out Woodchuck, where Marc Pelland and Maxim Dufour have doubled sales, opened offices in San Diego and China, and completed the automation of their local skateboard production lines, all after they won the Award for Quebec in 2002.

"We were amazed at the visibility we obtained by winning the Young Entrepreneur Award for Quebec – our business became known to clients and key industry players," said Marc Pelland, co-owner of Woodchuck. "We're extremely glad we entered the contest, as the Award brought prestige and notoriety to our company."

Sean Ivens is also a proud 2004 YEA winner – his company, Medic North, has seen his business grow by over 50% since receiving the Award for the Northwest Territories. He has also tapped into new markets since he won the Award and is now expanding the company into new sectors.

2006 Young Entrepreneur Awards

YEA and the CFIB Business Ownership Transition Award winners will be honoured at a ceremony in Moncton, New Brunswick, under the theme A world without boundaries, open to new markets. Moncton will also host this year's BDC Forum – a Small Business Week® event that brings together business leaders and academics who share knowledge and experience on issues facing Canadian entrepreneurs.

This year, a new award category has been added to BDC's Small Business Week®. The CFIB Business Ownership Transition Award will recognize the seller and buyer of a business that has successfully changed hands from one generation to the next. The entrepreneur/buyer as well as the entrepreneur/seller will both be honoured, and a business grant of $20,000 will be offered to help the company meet its growth objectives.

The 2006 YEA winners are also eligible for two other awards, the Export Development Canada Export Excellence Award, which comes with a $15,000 grant, and the WestJet Creative Mind Award, which also features a $15,000 grant. These grants are intended to help companies in their efforts to achieve growth objectives.

Selection criteria

The winners are selected by a panel of business people, entrepreneurs, members of chambers of commerce and BDC representatives. The following selection criteria apply to all nominees: the originality of the business concept, its success, growth potential, and social involvement. The panel also considers the entrepreneur's age when the business was started and any special challenges that had to be faced. Nominees from previous years may enter again for the same or another business.

Nomination procedure
Young entrepreneurs can nominate themselves. Entrepreneurs may download an application form or obtain a printed version by visiting any BDC branch or send an email. Nominations must be received by June 8, 2006.

For information concerning Small Business Week® or the Young Entrepreneur Awards, you may call 1-888-INFO-BDC (1-888-463-6232) or visit our section Young Entrepreneur Awards.

Small Business Week partners
BDC is proud to acknowledge Western Economic Diversification as a national partner of Small Business Week for the 5th consecutive year. BDC is also pleased to announce that WestJet is once again the official airline carrier of Small Business Week and the Young Entrepreneur Awards.

About BDC
BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada. BDC plays a complementary role in delivering financial, investment and consulting services to Canadian small business, with a particular focus on the technology and export sectors of the economy. 

Small Business Week® is a registered trademark of BDC.