Sage announced today that its Sage Simply Accounting business, in cooperation with LinkedIn, Staples and leading Canadian entrepreneurship advisor Evan Carmichael, has awarded more than $10,000 worth of products and services to Toronto small business Giftcards for Causes as part of its ‘Make Your Case for $10K‘ contest.
Selected from an array of entries via the contest site on LinkedIn, the cause gift card company, along with co-finalists James Kennedy Film Company, Inc., and Fabudeal, was invited to pitch its business plan to a panel of judges on May 11, 2011, at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. That panel included entrepreneurship advisor Evan Carmichael, along with judges from Sage Simply Accounting, LinkedIn, and Staples.
Giftcards for Causes aims to be a leading provider of gift card based fundraising and incentive solutions to non-profit and charitable organizations. In Canada, billions of dollars’ worth of gift cards are purchased or go unredeemed every year. Through Giftcards for Causes’ unique solutions, non-profit and charitable groups are able to leverage this exploding market to drive new sources of fundraising revenue.
“This win was unexpected because my co-finalists had strong business plans,” said Sean Snyder, president of Giftcards for Causes. “We all worked very hard to get our businesses to where they are today and it’s an honour to be the winner of the contest. These renowned products and services will provide the tools we need to take Giftcards for Causes to the next level and continue helping Canadian non-profit and charitable organizations raise maximum funds, while providing innovative ways for consumers to easily support their favourite causes through gift cards.”
Giftcards for Causes will receive more than $10,000 worth of products and services, including:
- Sage Simply Accounting Premium 2011 plus Business Care Gold
- Sage Simply Accounting HR Manager1
- Access to Sage Simply Accounting Essentials online training2
- Services of a Certified Consultant from the Sage Accountants Network
- Business gift card from Staples®
- Technology consulting and advisory services from Staples® easytech 4business — Technology Solutions
- One-year Premium Subscription to LinkedIn to enhance their business network
- Business consulting services from renowned entrepreneur Evan Carmichael
Toronto-based James Kennedy Film Company Inc. and Fabudeal were also finalists of the contest and presented their business plans in front of the judges.
“I found this contest to be an excellent catalyst to not only evaluate my business but to actually think about what I have and what I can offer to a wider market,” said James Kennedy, president of James Kennedy Film Company Inc. “That’s why regardless of the outcome I’m happy to have been a part of it.”
The contest presentations were followed by a thought leadership panel for Toronto small businesses presented by Sage Simply Accounting. Panellists revealed their insider success secrets and discussed other topical issues, industry trends and best practices for small business growth.
“Attending the panel was extremely insightful,” said Jerry Rotondaro, Co-founder and Chief Deal Maker of Fabudeal and finalist of the Make Your Case for $10K contest. “The panellists were highly knowledgeable and gave us valuable advice to grow our small business. Both the contest and panel were a great networking and learning opportunity.”
“Sage has a long history of helping small to midsized businesses in Canada reach their maximum potential — whether it is through initiatives such as the ‘Make Your Case for $10K Contest’ or by providing world-class products and services to its customers,” said Connie Certusi, senior vice president and general manager of Sage Simply Accounting. “Choosing the finalists, let alone a winner, was a difficult task because of the exceptional quality of the business plans that entered the contest. We hope that this boost will be a catalyst to increased success for Giftcards for Causes.”