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Young Entrepreneurs Awarded $40,000 in B.C.’s Northwest

May 9, 2016

Young Entrepreneurs Awarded $40,000 in B.C.’s Northwest

ThriveNorth Announces Winners of 2nd Annual Business Challenge Competition

Vancouver, BC (May 9, 2016) – Seven outstanding young and emerging business owners won their share of $40,000 to support their businesses at the second Annual ThriveNorth Business Challenge in Terrace on May 7th.

The 2016 ThriveNorth Business Challenge winners and runners-up are:

Best New Business

  • Winner: Bobby Middleton, The Saw Shack, Terrace – $10,000
  • Runner up: Jill Whitfield, Repose, Terrace – $2,500

Best New Social Enterprise

  • Winner: Heather Bohn, Our Roots, Terrace – $10,000
  • Runner up: Andrea Pollock, Island Sugar, Prince Rupert – $2,500

Best Growth Opportunity

  • Winner: Kristine Ewald and Simone Crook, Transcend Fitness, Terrace – $10,000
  • Runner up: Johanne Chaine, Peoples Pharmacy, Terrace – $2,500

Business Challenge 2016-winners

Audience members voted on their favourite business pitch. Kristine Ewald and Simone Crook of Transcend Fitness won the Audience Award and received an additional $2,500.

The event, which is hosted by Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG (the proposed LNG project on Ridley Island), is part of a five-year initiative that aims to inspire and support people aged 18-39 in the region to launch and grow their own businesses.

The finalists were all from Prince Rupert and Terrace. Since March, they have received training and coaching to help them prepare to face the judges and pitch their businesses.

“It takes a tremendous amount of skill and courage to pursue entrepreneurship,” says Julia Deans, CEO of Futurpreneur Canada. “These finalists did an amazing job delivering their pitches using the skills they learned through the process. On top of the funding for award winners and runners-up, this competition helped all the finalists gain new skills, confidence, networks and support to build thriving businesses in their communities.”

“Congratulations to all of the finalists who pitched their business ideas over the weekend,” says Simon Nish, VP Sustainability with Prince Rupert LNG. “We extend a special congratulations to the winners and runners-up. The young entrepreneurs from last year’s Challenge have had great success. We look forward to seeing what this year’s group of finalists achieve for their businesses and communities.”

More than 100 people came to the R.E.M. Lee Theatre in Terrace to watch the live pitching challenge, which was followed by the awards ceremony.

Through the Business Challenge competition and other activities, ThriveNorth provides emerging business owners with training, financing, mentoring, resources and more to help them in the early stages of their business. Since 2014, the ThriveNorth initiative has funded 19 young entrepreneurs who have created nearly 60 jobs in their communities. ThriveNorth has also provided coaching, training and support to 77 people and helped engage 1,600 members of the community through entrepreneurship-focused events.

About ThriveNorth:

ThriveNorth empowers young people to start and grow businesses in the Northwest region of British Columbia. It provides emerging business owners aged 18-39 with resources, financing, mentoring and connections in their communities. ThriveNorth is a joint initiative between Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG, the proposed LNG project on Ridley Island.

Launched in November 2014, ThriveNorth was created through a five-year partnership established by Youth Business International (YBI), a global network of independent non-profit initiatives supporting youth entrepreneurship. Futurpreneur Canada is YBI’s Canadian member and has been helping young and emerging business owners since 1996.

For more information about ThriveNorth, visit the website:

Media Contact:

Gina Robinson
Curve Communications
D: 604-248-4203
M: 604-317-6129