Desjardins awards a $27,500 scholarship to a young entrepreneur of the École d'entrepreneurship de Beauce

LÉVIS, QC, June 7, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - To promote female leadership and entrepreneurship, Desjardins Group (www.desjardins.com) has awarded the first of three scholarships created especially for business women. These $27,500 scholarships cover half of the costs for the two-year program at the École d'entrepreneurship de Beauce, the only private school for entrepreneurs in Canada.

Marie-Ève Drouin, Vice-President of Finances, Human Resources, and Marketing for Interbois, was selected from among six finalists as the first recipient. This dynamic young entrepreneur has managed to juggle her career at a family business, her role as the mother of three young children, and her position on the board of directors of FIER Entrepreneur Chaudière-Appalaches. Under her leadership, Interbois invested in its technological infrastructure, which enabled it to expand its distribution network to Ontario and the U.S.

"I feel privileged to have been awarded this scholarship. I have a great support network, but it's still difficult for women to juggle career and family. So for me, this scholarship means recognition. It's a springboard. It shows that they believe in me, and that encourages me to continue to invest in my business to contribute to development in my region."

Liliane Laverdière, Vice-President of Business Development (Eastern Quebec) and Specialized Services for Desjardins Group, says that Quebec's economic strength relies on the creation of innovative businesses that can withstand the test of time. "Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of Quebec's economy, and more women than ever are part of this group. So it's vitally important that we encourage women and ignite the ideas and talent of home-grown entrepreneurs."

The next two scholarships will be awarded in September.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group www.desjardins.com is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada with assets of $196.4 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.6 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty Insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country and among Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2012TM, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 44,645 employees and the commitment of nearly 5,400 elected officers. A new education and cooperation program is now available to Desjardins members and the general public. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com/co-opme.

SOURCE DESJARDINS GROUP

For further information:

Information (for journalists only):

Francine BlackBurn
Media Relations Advisor
514 281-7000 or (toll free) 1-866 866-7000, ext. 7544
media@desjardins.com

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