The Small Business Challenge returns for fifth installment
March 24, 2015 – The Small Business Challenge is back, shining a spotlight on Canada’s brightest entrepreneurs and the challenges they face. The annual contest is an opportunity for Canadian small business owners to showcase their unique business ideas to a nationwide audience and get help overcoming the barriers standing in their way.
March 24, 2015 – The Small Business Challenge is back, shining a
spotlight on Canada’s brightest entrepreneurs and the challenges they
face. The annual contest is an opportunity for Canadian small business
owners to showcase their unique business ideas to a nationwide audience
and get help overcoming the barriers standing in their way.
Now in its fifth year, the challenge is a partnership between the Globe and Mail and TELUS that attracts more than 1,000 entries annually from small businesses across Canada. Contest finalists will receive cash, mentoring, technology and marketing services to help them overcome their biggest challenges, while the winner will walk away with a $100,000 grand prize from TELUS.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. TELUS is committed to helping them succeed,” said Suzanne Trusdale, vice-president of Small Business Solutions at TELUS. “For the past five years, the Small Business Challenge has helped innovative Canadian companies overcome their challenges and reach extraordinary heights. By partnering with The Globe and Mail, we’re able to shine a spotlight on deserving small businesses and bolster the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada.”
In last year’s contest, Vancouver Island Salt Co. took home the $100,000 award with its environmentally friendly plans to take Canadian artisan sea salt global.
“The $100,000 award has enabled us to double our production and the publicity we received from the contest helped us expand our Canadian market and secure a U.S. distributor – we’re on track to double our sales in 2015,” said Vancouver Island Salt Co.’s founder Andrew Shepherd. “This year we plan to double our production again and push aggressively towards making sustainable Canadian sea salt available around the world.”
"The Small Business Challenge contest is my favourite time of the year," said Katherine Scarrow, the editor of The Globe and Mail’s Report on Small Business. "Not only do we get to showcase Canada's top entrepreneurs through editorial coverage, but we’re also able to provide them with the funding they need to achieve their goals."
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the contest, TELUS is adding more than $50,000 in new prizes. In addition to $100,000 for the ultimate winner, three new major awards have been added:
- To underscore the importance of community investment, the winner will receive an additional $10,000 to donate to a local charity of their choice.
- Five semi-finalists will be chosen (previously four) and the runners-up will each receive $10,000 plus a TELUS technology pack valued at $2,000.
- This year, three “Most Promising Start-Ups” will be selected and will each receive $5,000 worth of mentoring and marketing services from Agency 59 – TELUS Small Business Solutions’ advertising and design agency.
From now until June 1, small businesses are invited to submit their biggest business challenge and explain how they would use $100,000 to help them overcome it. Five shortlisted semi-finalists will pitch to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and small business experts in Toronto on June 25 and the winner will be announced on September 17. Following this, the Most Promising Start-Ups will be announced on September 23, and 10 regional awards will be given out during Small Business Month in October.
For full contest details and to enter, please visit globeandmail.com/thechallenge.
To enter the contest, business owners with fewer than 100 employees are asked to describe the following in a 630-word submission:
- Their business (30 words);
- A challenge their business is currently experiencing (choose from drop-down menu);
- A proposed solution and how they would use the $100,000 to help overcome their challenge (200 words);
- The results they expect to achieve (200 words);
- How they incorporate community investment, customer service and innovation into their business (200 words).
- Ami Richter – Co-founder and Creative Director, Lug, a travel and leisure accessory product line
- Chris Griffiths – Director, Fine Tune Consulting, a boutique business consulting practice, and long-time entrepreneur
- David Fuller – Executive Vice-President and President of TELUS Consumer and Small Business Solutions
- Katherine Scarrow – Report on Small Business Editor, The Globe and Mail
- Sean Stanleigh – Managing Editor of Globe Content Studio, The Globe and Mail
- Suzanne Trusdale – Vice-President, Small Business Solutions, TELUS
- Steve Tustin – Editor, Custom Content Group, The Globe and Mail
For more information