The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has extended the deadline to enter the 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest until May 6, 2012 and added a new prize valued at $25,000. Young entrepreneurs now have a chance to win the BDC Grand Prize for Innovation: $100,000 to implement a new innovation project aimed at driving business growth. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award runner-up will receive a $25,000 customized Internet strategy from BDC Consulting, designed to help the beneficiary increase sales and stand out in a competitive world.
“We have extended the contest deadline to give all innovative young business owners more time to seize this great opportunity,” says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC.
The 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award invites entrants to explain an innovative idea for a new project via a short, easy-to-produce video and a four-step application form. “Our panels of judges will not base their decisions on the quality of the video, but on the quality of the innovation project. The video is simply the medium through which entrepreneurs are being asked to convey their message. The actual details of the innovation project are submitted via the confidential entry form,” adds Bergeron.
The contest is open to all Canadian entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 as of December 31, 2011. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and run a Canadian-based business that is in good financial health. They must have been responsible for their company’s day-to-day management for at least two years as of December 31, 2011, and must hold at least 20% of the company’s capital stock.
“The application process is straight-forward, does not require a significant time commitment and can pay off big: $100,000 to bring your new innovation project to life and take your company to the next level,” concludes Bergeron. “We invite all Canada’s young business owners to enter the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest.”
Full information about how to enter the 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, including the application form and contest rules and regulations, is available online. Contest entries can be submitted until 11:59:59 pm on May 6, 2012.
Provincial selection committees will then choose the best innovation projects— one for each province and one for the combined territories. The 11 finalists will be announced on May 30, 2012, when the general public will be invited to start voting for the 2012 BDC Grand Prize for Innovation winner and runner-up on the contest’s dedicated microsite and Facebook page, BDC Entrepreneur. The voting period ends on June 19, 2012 and frequent progress updates will be posted on Facebook, Twitter at @BDC_News and LinkedIn.
If a potential finalist for a province or for the combined territories cannot be reached by phone or email, or fails to return financial statements and communicate with BDC within a specified time, he or she will forfeit the opportunity to become a finalist for the 2012 BDC Grand Prize for Innovation. In such an event, the entrepreneur whose application and video received the second-highest score from the selection committee will become the alternate potential finalist.