BDC Launches New Awards to Recognize Canadian Entrepreneurs

The Business Development Bank of Canada today announced the launch of four new awards designed to promote and recognize Canadian entrepreneurs in four key areas: mentorship, innovation, resiliency and serial entrepreneurship.

These awards are in addition to the 2014 edition of the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, a contest where entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 are invited to present a turning point their company has reached and the solution they propose to take their business to the next level.

“Through Economic Action Plan 2013, our government continues to empower Canada’s entrepreneurs while also recognizing their important contribution to the country’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness,” stated the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism). “These new awards aim to inspire other Canadian entrepreneurs to innovate, take risks and grow their businesses into national and international markets.”

The first of the four award categories, mentorship, is now open for nominations, according to BDC. Developed in partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, the BDC Mentorship Award will recognize “a Canadian business mentor credited by their peers for having provided valuable advice and support, through a significant commitment of time and effort that has led to the creation and growth of Canadian companies by building their mentees’ professional skills and abilities.”

“Great mentors provide invaluable advice, cultivate confidence, and become strong advocates for entrepreneurs’ business and success. We are delighted to be partnering with BDC and the Government of Canada to recognize their support with this award,” says Julia Deans, CEO, CYBF. “We sincerely hope this new award will raise awareness about the importance of mentorship and help connect even more young entrepreneurs with the invaluable support and encouragement they need to grow.”

Eligibility criteria and nomination documents can be found online. The nomination period will be open until March 1. The winner, to be announced in May, will be recognized at CYBF’s Action Entrepreneurship: Growing Young Enterprise Canadian Summit in Toronto.

The other awards, to be launched in the coming weeks, include:

  • The BDC Innovation Award, offered in partnership with Canada’s Venture Capital Association (CVCA), recognizes a Canadian early-stage company that has demonstrated the ability to innovate or reshape their industry in exciting and previously unforeseen ways. Nominations open in mid-February 2014.
  • The BDC Entrepreneurial Resiliency Award, offered in partnership with the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), recognizes spectacular turnarounds of businesses or entrepreneurs that demonstrate recovery from failure in a way that is bold and inspiring to other businesses that may be facing similar challenges. Nominations open in mid-March 2014.
  • The BDC Entrepreneurship Champion distinction recognizes a Canadian entrepreneur who has created and grown many successful businesses over the years, making a substantial contribution to the prosperity of the Canadian economy.