Jeff Ryzner of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the 2015 winner of the BDC Mentorship Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do you consider a mentor?

A mentor is someone who provides personalized support to help an entrepreneur build their own skills and abilities to start and grow their business. Great entrepreneurial mentors emphasize feedback and reflection by the entrepreneur. A mentor is not the “doer,” but builds self-reliance and leadership in entrepreneurs. In a great entrepreneurial mentoring relationship, the entrepreneur sets the agenda and the relationship is often not time-limited. Mentors help entrepreneurs discover their own insights, options, solutions and decisions. Mentors fulfill many different roles throughout the relationship and know when and how to step into each role as needed: investigator, friend, mentor, advisor, coach, teacher, networker, cheerleader, etc.

Who do you consider an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is an individual who undertakes risk in order to create a product or service that is designed to bring about growth and create new social and economic wealth. Often an entrepreneur sees an opportunity where there is an unmet need, even where uncertainty exists. They create something of value for society (this includes cases where a start-up fails but nevertheless enables the entrepreneur to learn from it). Ultimately, an entrepreneur is any business founder/venture founder, co-founder or business manager, who is/was actively participating in the running of the business and is/was a shareholder during the time of the mentoring relationship.

Can I nominate myself?

Yes, a you can nominate yourself as a mentor, and you will need to provide references from two mentees.

My mentor has only mentored me but it has been for six years. Can I nominate her?

No, the eligibility criteria requires two distinct mentorships each lasting for a minimum of one year.

Do I need the mentor’s permission before I nominate him?

You do not need permission from the mentor, as he or she will be asked to either accept or decline the nomination within the application process itself.

My mentor cannot attend the event in May in the event she wins. Can I still nominate her?

You can still nominate your mentor for the BDC Mentorship Award and they can still be chosen as a finalist. However, the mentor cannot win the award as he or she must be available for the May event in Toronto.

I would like to nominate my mentor but I do not want to divulge my business’ financials, can I still nominate him or her?

If your mentor progresses to the due diligence stage of the evaluation process, one of his or her mentees will be asked to substantiate the impact their mentor has made on their business. This is done through the submission of financials and other documents.

Who will be on the regional selection committees?

There are three Regional Selection Committees appointed to the BDC Mentorship Award program: East (Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), Central (Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba) and West (Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut). These three-member committees will be comprised of a BDC representative, a Futurpreneur Canada representative and either an entrepreneur or mentor, all from the region they represent.

Will a finalist be chosen from every province and one from the three territories?

A finalist will be chosen from each province and one from the three territories, providing the mentor meets the eligibility requirements, the nomination application is complete, has passed the due diligence process and meets the minimum assessment criteria.