TELUS  and The Globe and Mail  today announced the launch of The Challenge , the 3rd annual contest inviting Canadian small and medium-sized business owners to present their biggest business challenge for the opportunity to win a $100,000 grant from TELUS. Entrepreneurs across Canada are invited to submit entries at online  and will be judged by a panel that includes entrepreneurs and business experts.
“Supporting small business growth in Canada is a key priority for TELUS. This contest brings together a community of entrepreneurs to talk about their biggest pain points and receive advice from experienced business experts,” said Jim Senko, vice-president of Small and Medium Business Marketing at TELUS. “As entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive the Canadian economy, we’re excited to partner with The Globe and Mail for a third year in a row to help Canadian entrepreneurs reach success.”
To enter the contest, entrants are asked to describe the following in an 800-word submission:
- A challenge their business is currently experiencing (200 words)
- A proposed solution to this challenge and how the $100,000 prize would help overcome that challenge (200 words)
- An explanation of the results they expect to achieve (200 words)
- A description of how their business incorporates the following values into their business:
- community investment/commitment to charities
- customer service
- innovation (200 words)
In 2012, TELUS received more than 1,200 entries. The 2012 winner Glassopolis, sellers and distributors of fire-resistant glass in Toronto, invested in new machinery to increase production and customer distribution.
“The win was wonderful and a real opportunity for our business. The $100,000 prize was instrumental in helping us gear up to offer a whole new product category to our customers,” said Jordan Richards, President, Glassopolis. “Because of The Challenge, we have added production capabilities that are unique in North America and will support our continued growth for years to come.”
The judging panel will review and shortlist submissions to four semi-finalists. For the first time, semi-finalists will be required to present their business challenges to the judging panel at the TELUS House in downtown Toronto in June, and explain how they would use the business grant to overcome their key obstacle. Semi-finalists will also be profiled in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business .
“Our ongoing partnership with TELUS helps us recognize and support the small business community in Canada,” said Sean Stanleigh, Editor, Report on Small Business, The Globe and Mail. “Over the coming weeks, through our pages and online, our business reporters look forward to profiling Canadian entrepreneurs to provide insight into the types of challenges this group faces, and highlight their successes.”
The final winner will be announced on September 26, 2013. Get full details about how to enter and to read the contest rules and regulations, please visit The Challenge  information page.
- Chris Griffiths – Director, Fine Tune Consulting, a boutique business consulting practice, and long-time entrepreneur
- Carolyn Lawrence – President and CEO, Women of Influence
- Donna Marie Antoniadis – Co-founder, She’s Connected
- Sally Daub – President and CEO, ViXS Systems
- Jim Senko – Vice -President, SMB and Enterprise Marketing, TELUS
- Hugh Johnson – Vice-President, Small Medium Business, TELUS
- Terry Brodie – Reporter and editor, Report on Small Business, The Globe and Mail
- Steve Tustin – Editor, Custom Content Group, The Globe and Mail
- Sean Stanleigh – Editor, Report on Small Business, The Globe and Mail
Visit The Challenge  for complete bios on each of the judges.
Canadians and fellow small business owners can join the conversation and follow the contest on Twitter via @TELUSBusiness  and @GlobeSmallBiz  using the hashtag #smallbizchallenge, on LinkedIn  and on Facebook . The contest closes May 27, 2013.