In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.

Congratulations to everyone that participated in the ThriveNorth Business Challenge Finals on Saturday, May 7th in Terrace at the R.E.M. Lee Theatre! Seven outstanding young and emerging business owners won their share of $40,000 to support their businesses. After weeks of preparation, the finalists pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges in front of a live audience. Over 100 people attended the finals and awards ceremony, hosted by Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG (the proposed LNG project on Ridley Island) to cheer on finalists and show their support for local businesses.

Here are the results!

Best New Business

Winner: Bobby Middleton

The Saw Shack, Terrace – $10,000

After more than a decade working the forest industry, Bobby Middleton is combining his experience and passion for working with wood to develop The Saw Shack. With a vision to do sawmilling more sustainably, he has set his sights on reducing the amount of waste wood by salvaging usable pieces and processing them into value-added products.

Runner-up: Jill Whitfield

Repose, Terrace – $2,500

Jill graduated with honors with her diploma in Massage Therapy in 2004 from ICT Northumberland College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She thrives off helping people on their journey to wellness, which drives her plans to create a community driven spa. With a cooperative approach, it will supply the demand for affordable and accessible treatments using local products, therapists and resources.

Best New Social Enterprise

Winner: Heather Bohn

Our Roots, Terrace – $10,000

In 2013 Heather graduated from the UBC Sauder School of Business Ch’nook program for Entrepreneurship and Community Development. With the goal of making people happy and healthy, “Our Roots” coffee shop/eatery will be a self-sustaining elders and youth community space, which supports the local economy through employing community bakers, chefs and harvesters, focusing on fresh, local seasonal ingredients and of course, amazing coffee.

Runner-up: Andrea Pollock

Island Sugar, Prince Rupert – $2,500

Andrea is an established Prince Rupert entrepreneur with more than 10 years of management experience in the hospitality and tourism industries.  Andrea is looking to bolster the opening of Island Sugar with the purchase of an additional ice cream tricycle and electric motor. Island Sugar is a unique old-fashioned ice cream trike business that will create some youth employment opportunities.

Best Growth Opportunity

Winner: Kristine Ewald and Simone Crook

Transcend Fitness, Terrace – $10,000*

Kristine and Simone are local Terrace women passionate about improving the health and quality of life of Terrace residents, particularly women. Since starting Transcend Fitness in 2015, Kristine and Simone have steadily added to the services that they offer.  They hope to continue to provide new and exciting ways to keep fitness fun and effective.

*Kristine and Simone also received the most audience votes for the Audience Award and received another $2,500.

Runner-up: Johanne Chaine

Peoples Pharmacy, Terrace – $2,500

Johanne is pharmacist with 10 years’ experience and a background in medical biology. Raised in a family where people care for one another, she is naturally governed by true interest and dedication to others. Driven by her passion for helping people and a desire to offer a human approach to healthcare, she is looking to expand her new pharmacy business by offering meaningful healthcare services and by filling existing service gaps in her community.

Congratulations to everyone that participated in the 2016 ThriveNorth Business Challenge!

Now in its second year, the ThriveNorth Business Challenge is a pitch competition that supports emerging business owners between 18 and 39 years old in the Northwest region of British Columbia. It provides them with training, funding and networks to help them build thriving businesses in their communities.


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