Sophie Brochu accepts the position of Honorary President of the 14th Québec Entrepreneurship Contest

MONTREAL, Jan. 17, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The President and Chief Executive Officer of Gaz Métro, Sophie Brochu, will serve as Honorary President of the 14th edition of the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest presented by the Mouvement des caisses Desjardins. "It is both a privilege and a great pleasure for me to accept the Honorary Presidency of the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest. Gaz Métro has enormous respect and admiration for all the entrepreneurs who embark on business careers and who contribute, day after day, to Québec's economic growth," said Ms. Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gaz Métro.

The Contest coordinators along with numerous partners and prizewinners from previous editions are very happy that this Québec business leader has agreed to lend her support to the Contest. "We are convinced that Ms. Brochu will greatly inspire the participants in this 14th edition. Her strong entrepreneurial values guide her in her role as company head. For us, Ms. Brochu represents a veritable model of vision and leadership," said Natacha Jean, President and Director General of the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest.Keep in mind that the Contest provides a forum for recognizing entrepreneurial projects in the schools and new businesses in their start-up phase. We expect over 50 000 participants to register again this year.

Mouvement Desjardins will present the grand finale
Mouvement Desjardins is acting as a presenting partner for this 14th edition of the Contest, which will award over $500 000 in grants to winners in the various categories. The names of winners at the provincial level will be announced at the Desjardins Provincial Grand Prize Gala, to be held next June. The registration deadline is 4:00 p.m on March 19, 2012. Stéphane Achard, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Business and Institutional Services, with Mouvement Desjardins is very enthusiastic about the passion and visionary quality characteristic of Contest participants. "Businesses play a pivotal role within communities, especially when they are run by young, innovative people. This is why Desjardins Group and Desjardins Fondation are proud to renew their support for this contest, a promising initiative to raise interest among potential entrepreneurs attending school. Starting a business requires a great deal of courage and perseverance-our support represents real recognition and provides a head start for those who stand out." said Mr. Achard, who was also pleased to announce that the Fondation Desjardins will be one of the Contest's prestige partners, offering grants to prizewinners in the Student Entrepreneurship division throughout Québec's 17 regions.

Many forms of support
The Québec government is a primary partner in the Contest, which relies on a network of some 400 representatives throughout Québec. A number of government bodies are involved in setting up and implementing the Contest, most notably the Secrétariat à la jeunesse, the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation. "We can be proud of the work we have accomplished in the schools, colleges and universities in order to encourage young people to carry out projects that lead them to develop values like autonomy, persistence and solidarity. These values are an asset not only in promoting academic success, but on a personal and professional level as well," said Line Beauchamp, Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports.

Note that this edition will also be supported by the newspaper Les affaires, an official media partner. And we are pleased to announce the addition of new partners, including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Deloitte. The 14th edition is also solidly supported by the following companies: Rogers, Gaz Métro, the Barreau du Québec, the Fondation CMA, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Ingenio, filiale de Loto-Québec, La Capitale Financial Group, SAJE accompagnateur d'entrepreneurs, Saputo, and the Association des CLD du Québec. A number of awards partners have been added to this highly valued roster. Among them are the Réseau des SADC et CAE and Entrepreneuriat Québec, which will award a prize to a company that distinguishes itself in the area of sustainable development.

New! Gaz Métro Popular Favourite Award, developed by ROGERS
For the first time at the provincial level, the public will be invited to help select a winning project. Conducted via a free mobile phone voting system developed by Rogers, the Gaz Métro Popular Favourite Award will lead to the selection of a winning company from among the seven sectors of activity covered by the Contest. The electronic voting procedures will be announced in the coming weeks and the names of the finalists will be made public in May 2012.

The Québec Entrepreneurship Contest is intended to support the development of entrepreneurship in Québec by providing recognition for business initiatives from around the province. The Student Entrepreneurship division encourages students to create projects that contribute to the development of entrepreneurial values in the education community. The Contest's Business Creation division encourages entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of launching a business. Over the course of 13 years, more than a million participants have completed in excess of 56 000 projects. All the eligibility criteria as well as lists of categories, special prizes and partners are currently available on the Contest Web site at: concours-entrepreneur.org.

SOURCE QUEBEC ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONTEST

For further information:

Natacha Jean, President and Director General
Québec Entrepreneurship Contest
Office: 418-644-4255, extension 2431
Cell: 418-473-2869
njean@concours-entrepreneur.org

Francine BlackBurn
Media Relations Advisor
Mouvement Desjardins
Office: 514-281-7000 or 1-866-866-7000, extension 7544
medias@desjardins.com

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QUEBEC ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONTEST

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