ThriveNorth Business Challenge

The ThriveNorth Business Challenge is an open competition where young people aged 18-39 from Northern B.C. can showcase their business ideas and get the support they need to make them a reality.

Congratulations to our 2019 ThriveNorth Business Challenge Finalists! They will be pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to compete for a grand prize of $10,000 for their business, in addition to a $5,000 People’s Choice Award* that’s up for grabs.

Register today for the 2019 ThriveNorth Business Challenge Finals, taking place in Terrace on May 7, 2019.

Congratulations to the 2019 ThriveNorth Business Challenge Semi-Finalists!

Best New Business (18-28): a business at any stage prior to launch or within 12 months of business, by an entrepreneur between the ages of 18 and 28

  • Cameron Bell, Farmer Cams Foods (Terrace)
  • Riley McNeice, Not So Shaggy (Prince Rupert)
  • Mishaila Gervais, Splash Bath and Body Products (Smithers)
  • Ansen Norgaard, Ansens Consignment (Prince Rupert)
  • Charlie Broome, The Mutty Paw (Fort St. John)
  • Baljit Singh, Pizzeria (Dawson Creek)

Best New Business (29-39): a business at any stage prior to launch or within 12 months of business, by an entrepreneur between the ages of 29 and 39

  • Bryanne White, Wild Roots Flowers & Gifts (Burns Lake)
  • Dannielle Young, Divine by Dannielle (Smithers)
  • Lucy Sager, All Nations Driving Academy (Terrace)
  • Matthew Menard, Acupuncture Clinic (Masset)
  • Katy Peck, Canadian Acres Farm (Charlie Lake)
  • John Lambert, Johnny’s Working Woodshop (Fort St. John)
  • Vincent van Wieringen, Your Plate or Mine (Fort St. John)
  • Kristen Auger, wâpikwanew (pronounced wah-pik-wah-new) (Fort St. John)

Best Growth Opportunity (18-39): a business currently in operations looking to expand through increased staff, new locations or new products and services

  • Katrina Slorstad, Imperative Recycling (Fort St. James)
  • Courtenay Crucil, Wild Roots Teas (Terrace)
  • Brittany Kinahan, Halo Athletic Apparel (Terrace)
  • Anneh Kessels, Willow Bender Baskets (Telkwa)
  • Rachel Vowles, Mile 0 Farrier Company (Dawson Creek)
  • Lesley Melville, Black Cats BBQ (Fort St. John)
  • Devrey Crossly, Whole Wheat and Honey Cafe (Fort St. John)
  • Crystal Behn-Dettieh, In Her Footsteps Authentic Dene Designs (Fort Nelson)

Media Partner

CBC British Columbia

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 ThriveNorth Business Challenge!

Winner: (Holly-Anne Ritchie & Shay Bergunder, BowTie), $10,000

Contestant HeadshotShay Bergunder and Holly-Anne Ritchie together are BowTie. Using their differences as well as their similar passions, they create, coordinate and clean up events. They also have personalized BowTie Party In A Box for the bored, busy or uninspired. They hope to cultivate a relationship with the community while having more time for their families. Looking to the future, they also hope to be able to supply rental of tents, photo booths, lighting as well as many other event related items.

Winner: (Stephen Beard, Beard’s Brewing Company), $10,000

Contestant HeadshotWe are passionate about our community, we are passionate about beer. Stephen and his family started on this adventure last November and it’s been quite the experience! They purchased used brewing equipment from an expanding southern BC brewery and brought the first taste of fresh, locally crafted beers to northeastern BC. Stephen is so excited to have the opportunity to give back to this amazing community that he grew up in and show his kids that anything can be accomplished with passion and hard work!

Winner: (Jessie Taylor, Mama G’s Country Kitchen), $10,000

Contestant HeadshotJessie Taylor and business partner Gwen Taylor are the proud owners of a tiny red travelling food trailer called Mama G's Country Kitchen in Chetwynd, BC. They travel around Northern BC to many rodeos and festivals during the summer months, bringing back that home cooked experience people are craving at these busy events. This is their 4th successful year and busier than ever! They are hoping to expand their operations by selling their homemade salad dressings.

Winner: (Axel Whalen, Tiny Life Supply), $5,000

Contestant HeadshotAxel has always been guided by his passion for the environment. Following his studies in mechanical engineering, Axel gained experience working as both a tree planting foreman and a railway engineer before discovering the tiny house movement. Axel fell in love with the combination of architecture, design, and sustainability, and in 2015 began building a tiny house of his own. In response to the difficulty he had sourcing premium supplies and appliances, Axel founded Tiny Life Supply in 2016.

Visit us on Facebook to see photos from the 2018 Business Challenge.


Check the ThriveNorth blog regularly for news, updates and inspiration! We talk about upcoming events, learning opportunities, entrepreneurship and business in Northern British Columbia.

Fill out my online form.