ThriveNorth Business Challenge

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

The ThriveNorth Business Challenge is back! Applications for the 2019 ThriveNorth Business Challenge are open until March 20. Applications will be accepted for the following categories.

  • Best New Business (18-28): 
    • a business at any stage prior to launch, by an entrepreneur between the ages of 18 and 28
  • Best New Business (29-39):
    • a business at any stage prior to launch, by an entrepreneur between the ages of 29 and 39
  • Best Growth Opportunity (18-39):
    • a business currently in operations looking to expand through increased staff, new locations or new products and services

Apply Now!

Important Dates

Applications will be accepted between February 20 and March 20, 2019. The semifinals will take place between April 15-17, 2019 in Terrace and Fort St. John. The finals will be held in Terrace on May 6 and 7, 2019

Exclusive Coaching

While all applicants will be given the opportunity to take part in online pitch training, semi-finalists and finalists will receive exlusive resources and one-on-one coaching to make their pitch even stronger. Winners from each category will receive $10,000, and there will also be a People's Choice Award worth $5,000.


Please note that the 2019 ThriveNorth Business Challenge is open to anyone between the ages of 18-39 living in Northern B.C. in a rural community with a population of 25,000 or less. Past Business Challenge cash prize winners and finalists are not eligible to apply again.

Questions about the application process? Contact

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.

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