Telus and The Globe and Mail have announced the return of their annual Small Business Challenge, which offers entrepreneurs a chance to win a $100,000 grand prize.
The competition asks entrepreneurs to explain how the $100,000 prize will help them overcome their biggest business hurdles, and provide innovative solutions for overcoming these hurdles.
While $100,000 is the top prize, 68 businesses will receive cash, technology, and marketing services, as well as coverage in The Globe and Mail. Four runners up will receive $10,000 and a TELUS technology pack valued at $2,000; the three “most promising startups” will be selected to receive $5,000 worth of mentoring and marketing services from Agency 59; and 10 regional winners will receive a TELUS prize package with an estimated value of $1,500.
“From creating jobs to generating economic growth, small businesses are doing big things for Canada,” said Suzanne Trusdale, vice-president of Small Business Solutions at TELUS. “TELUS is passionate about supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and helping small businesses thrive. The Small Business Challenge helps businesses overcome their biggest hurdles and fast-tracks their growth, and year after year this contest is creating incredible Canadian small business success stories.”
Past winners have included the Vancouver Island Salt Co., which used the funding to hire new staff and double production — and recently enter its first markets in Asia — and Calgary-based Livestock Water Recycling Inc. Dragons’ Den contestant Aquamobile also received an offer of $200,000 from Jim Treliving for 10 percent of the company, but ultimately turned it down after winning the Telus Small Business Challenge.
For the first time in the competition’s history, one small business owner will receive $10,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. A panel of Telus Community Investment team members will select a business that shares Telus’ philanthropic approach to business.
Applications from small businesses are being accepted until May 31. Five semi-finalists will pitch to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and small business experts in Toronto on June 29, with the winner being announced on September 22.