Indigenous students learn about entrepreneurship through national business plan competition

BDC announces the winners of its 2015 E-Spirit business plan competition. A school in Sept-Îles is one of them!

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MONTREAL, May 22, 2015 / CNW Telbec / - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is proud to announce the winners of the fifteenth edition of E-Spirit, a national business plan competition aimed at Native students of secondary III, IV and V.

“Throughout the 16 weeks of BDC's E-Spirit competition,” says Robert Lajoie, National Director, Indigenous Banking Services, participants have the opportunity to explore all facets of the plan development process. business and find out for themselves what it takes to start a new business. We believe it is important to help students acquire useful and practical skills and to build their self-confidence. We hope that at the end of this experience, they will consider entrepreneurship as a viable career choice and that they will continue to actively engage in their communities. "

The three winning teams and their schools received cash prizes: 4000 $ for Gold, 2000 $ for Silver and 1000 $ for Bronze. Seven special awards for exceptional contribution were also presented to recognize achievements in the following categories: most innovative marketing, best brand image, most original concept, best use of technology, best impact on the environment or community, best video and a leadership award.

BDC E-Spirit 2015 Contest Winners:

Project: "Arviat Cinema Group"
School : John Arnalukjuak High School, Arviat (Nunavut)
Students: Justin Kuksuk, Justin Suluk, Kyle Schaubroeck
Moderator: Mike Prowse

Arviat Cinema Group aims to ensure food security in Arviat, Nunavut. As the first and only theater operators in the community, the group members propose to raise much needed funds by showing films. With these funds, local organizations could through their programs address food shortages, and community members could see quality films at an affordable price. The screenings would take place at John Arnalukjuak High School and receive support from several local businesses. The only operating theater in Nunavut is in Iqaluit.

Project: "Kiitchi Ma'iingan Trading Company"
School : Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Students: Curtis Beardy, Brayden Campbell
Host: Leigh brown

The Kiitchi Ma'iingan Trading Company is proposing to open a store inspired by The Forks National Historic Site in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, The Forks has been a gathering place for thousands of years and a strategic trading post - and remains so today. Kiitchi Ma'iingan, which means "Big Wolf" in the Ojibwa language, intends to follow this tradition by opening a small store and selling handicrafts that reflect ancestral art. An online store is also planned so that these creations are accessible to all.

Project: "Innu-Collect"
School : Manikanetish School, Sept-Îles (Quebec)
Students: John-Alex Fontaine, Pascale St-Onge, Samuel St-Onge, Sarah Régis
Host: Guylaine Turbis

The Innu-Collect project proposes the creation of a residential center for young people serving the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam community in Uashat (landlocked in the city of Sept-Îles, in Quebec) and in Mani-Utenam, 15 kilometers away. The center would welcome adolescents in a period of transition or experiencing a difficult family situation and would offer them the support they need for their development. It would also welcome students from out of town wishing to complete their studies. Innu-Collect's structured environment would give teens the opportunity to reach their full potential while helping them build their confidence and self-esteem.

Special Prizes for Outstanding Contribution to the 2015 BDC E-Spirit Contest

Most innovative marketing
“Innu-Collect”, Manikanetish School (Sept-Îles, Quebec)

Better brand image
“Kiitchi Ma'iingan Trading Company”, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Most original concept
“Innu-Collect”, Manikanetish School (Sept-Îles, Quebec)

Better use of technology
"Jasmine's Beaded Jewelery", Children of the Earth High School (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Better impact on the environment or the community
“Arviat Cinema Group”, John Arnalukjuak High School (Arviat, Nunavut)

Best video
"Jasmine's Beaded Jewelery", Children of the Earth High School, (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Leadership Award
Kashes Potts, "Thunderbird Skateboard Company", Wetaskiwin Composite High School, (Wetaskiwin, Alberta)

About the BDC E-Spirit competition
E-Spirit is a web-based competition that encourages Indigenous students in Secondary III, IV and V to prepare a business plan in 16 weeks using interactive business management resources. The 2015 edition of BDC's E-Spirit competition brought together 107 students from 18 different schools in around 30 teams.

About BDC
The Business Development Bank of Canada, BDC, puts entrepreneurs first. With some 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centers across the country, BDC offers loans, consulting services, business growth and transfer capital, securitization services as well as venture capital to more than 30,000 small and medium enterprises. Their success is critical to the prosperity of the Canadian economy. For more information, visit the website


SOURCE Business Development Bank of Canada

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