Montreal, Quebec, June 18, 2014—BDC today announced that the turning point project Bee Wrapped, submitted by Toni Desrosiers, founder of Abeego Designs, Inc. in Victoria, British Columbia, has won $25,000 in BDC consulting services as the runner-up prize in the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest.
Toni’s reusable, biodegradable and anti-bacterial beeswax-coated fabric food wrap is the practical, environmental alternative to plastic. Her project involves actively pursuing distribution agreements with an environmentally conscious U.S.-based distribution company that will build sales channels by qualifying the best retail partners for the Abeego brand. Toni’s four-step plan includes developing a marketing and promotion strategy, securing a U.S. distributor, and investing in new equipment and manufacturing processes to boost production and quality control. The runner-up prize of $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC will help move her plan forward.
“We’ve already proven there is a clear market need for Abeego. Now we just need to get our products onto more store shelves south of the border,” says Toni. “BDC’s advice and insight will definitely help our brand achieve our goal of 2,000% revenue growth by 2019.”
“Toni is ready to build on the momentum she has achieved in the Canadian market and firmly plant her flag in the U.S.,” says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. “The runner-up prize will be instrumental in positioning her company as a household name that will empower families to forego plastic and start to Abeego It.”
“I can’t say enough about the fantastic public support Abeego has received during the contest,” says Toni. “I’d encourage any young business owner to consider taking part in the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. Becoming a finalist is a great opportunity to benefit from unparalleled business exposure and reach new customers.”
The contest’s $100,000 Grand Prize winner is the project Cheese Champs, submitted by Shep Ysselstein, owner of Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese in Woodstock, Ontario.
About the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest
Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35. For the first time in 2014, a national committee evaluated the quality of the finalist projects and gave each finalist a ranking that was combined with the public vote. The national committee evaluation was weighted to account for 30% of each project’s final ranking and the public vote accounted for the remaining 70% of the ranking. Online voting in the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest took place between May 29 and June 12 at www.bdc.ca/yea.
About the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award finalists
Nine projects competed for Canada’s votes in the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest. Each finalist described, via a video submission, a turning point their company had reached as well as their solution to achieve future growth and success:
- Bee Wrapped, Toni Desrosiers, 34, Abeego Designs, Inc, Victoria, British Columbia
- Waste with Purpose, Devin Goss, 29, BluPlanet Recycling Inc., Calgary, Alberta
- Building Boom, Nathan Wilhelm, 30, Wilhelm Construction Services Inc., Estevan, Saskatchewan
- Compost Kings, Dale Overton, 34, Overton Environmental Enterprises Inc. (OEE), Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Cheese Champs, Shep Ysselstein, 31, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, Woodstock, Ontario
- Room with a View, Louis-Philippe Noel, 34, Innvue, Quebec City, Quebec
- Clear Waters, Pat Whalen, 33, LuminUltra Technologies Ltd., Fredericton, New Brunswick
- Brighter Smiles, Paula MacPherson, 31, Southgate Dentistry, Bedford South, Nova Scotia
- Northern Exposure, Nicole Redvers, 32, Gaia Integrative Clinic, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Canada’s business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada’s economic prosperity.
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