The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today the winners of its 13th annual BDC E-Spirit Business Plan Competition. Gold, Silver, and Bronze were awarded to the “Kanata of Youth” team from Winnipeg, MB, “Frisbis” team from Coldstream, BC, and the “Onimiki” team from Maniwaki, QC, at a ceremony held at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. A total of 34 teams of Aboriginal students from across Canada participated in the competition. The three winning teams received cash prizes in the amount of $1,500 for Gold, $750 for Silver and $500 for Bronze. Nine Special Achievement awards were also presented with winners receiving iPads, Netbooks, and iPods.
BDC E-Spirit is a 16 week web-based competition for Aboriginal high school students in grades 10 to 12 that provides interactive business planning resources, online access to mentoring and extensive student networking opportunities.
“I’m always impressed by how the BDC E-Spirit students have the ability to turn a business idea into a full business plan in just 16 weeks,” said Wilson Neapew, BDC National Director, Aboriginal Banking Unit. “Throughout the competition, students use the Internet and social media as a strategic business tools. Their participation in this competition offers them practical business experience that can be applied to many of their personal and future professional pursuits.”
The BDC E-Spirit competition was created and developed by BDC and is supported by Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, Government of Quebec, Thompson Rivers of University, School of Business, SDEUM (Société de développement économique Uashat mak Mani-utenam), Economic Development corporation, Universite Laval and University of Manitoba, Aboriginal Business Education Program (ABEP).
2013 BDC E-Spirit winners
Business Plan: Kanata of Youth
School: Tec Voc High School – Winnipeg, MB
Students: Diandre Thomas-Hart, Lanze Michaels
Facilitator: Amy McBride
Description: “Kanata of Youth” proposes an online Aboriginal cultural hub for youth. Blending Elder teachings with technology, the subscriber-based site will offer educational content such as up-to-date articles, discussion forums, documentaries, interviews and videos of Elders.
Business Plan: Frisbis
School: Kalamalka Secondary School – Coldstream, BC
Students: Brendan Ryan-Lewis, Chris Leverman, Mordachai Borkowski
Facilitator: Sandra Lynxleg
Description: The “Frisbis” project promotes and merchandises a new flying disc sport developed by students at Kalamalka Secondary School. Free demos and tournaments in parks and on beaches serve as a promotional vehicle and a way to sell Frisbis products on-site. This activity will be complemented by the sale of Frisbis products online.
Business Plan: Onimiki
School: Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan – Maniwaki, QC
Students: Sierra-Lee Odjick, Julianne Dumont
Facilitator: Amanda Buckshot
Description: “Onimiki”, meaning ‘thunder’ in Algonquin, specializes in outdoor adventures that immerse participants in Aboriginal culture. Those staying at the Onimiki grounds will be hosted in traditional wigwams and participate in a variety of activities such as searching for traditional medicine, Algonquin cooking, setting up wigwams, canoeing and archery.
Special Achievement Awards:
- Most Innovative Marketing And Branding: “Frisbis”, Kalamalka Secondary School, (Coldstream, BC)
- Most Original Concept: “Manukashutau”, École Manikanetish, (Sept-Îles, QC)
- Best Video: “Travelling Voices”, Sisler High School, (Winnipeg, MB)
- Best Use Of Technology: “Kanata of Youth”, Tec Voc High School, (Winnipeg, MB)
- Best Trade Show Display: “Unama’ki Bags”, Sydney Academy, (Sydney, NS)
- BDC E-Spirit Ambassador Award: “UNCEDED Caps”, Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan, (Maniwaki, QC)
- Environmental Awareness: “Onimiki”, Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan, (Maniwaki, QC)
- Best Presentation: “UNCEDED Caps”, Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan, (Maniwaki, QC)
- Social Media Award: “Issaak Cultural Campground”, Alberni District Secondary School, (Port Alberni, BC)