VANCOUVER, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - From its base in Vancouver, EPIC
Newsgroup Inc. is bringing content with an international flavour to television
screens across the globe. For this unique success story, co-founders Sabrina
Heinekey, 30, and Tiffany Steeves, 34, have earned BDC's Young Entrepreneur
Award for British Columbia and will be honoured tonight at a ceremony in
EPIC, created by Tiffany and Sabrina in 2004, is a production and media
placement company that produces international segments for broadcast on
outlets such as the Discovery Channel, CNBC and the Travel Channel in North
America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. EPIC's clients consist of
tourism boards, ministries, embassies and corporations in countries such as
the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago, Jordan and the Turks and
Sabrina and Tiffany, who both have international print media experience,
had noticed while on foreign assignment that many countries were not using
television as a promotional medium. They saw an opportunity to bring TV
production to these parts of the world and decided they were the people to do
Zooming in on market opportunities
Tiffany and Sabrina faced a number of challenges as they got started.
"For many countries, TV production is an intimidating prospect. And in some
cases, people are not used to dealing with young women," explains Sabrina.
Sensitivity to cultural differences, excellent preparation and a consistent
focus on professionalism helped to open doors with top government officials
and business leaders.
Each year EPIC selects five or six countries which they believe possess a
combination of untapped opportunities, a developing national brand and
international intrigue, and offer them a variety of production and media
packages. After conducting extensive research, and developing concepts and
scripts, they hire professional crews to film on location. This past summer,
the company launched projects in Kazakhstan, Congo, Tanzania and Greece.
For staff who sign on with EPIC Newsgroup, the job can mean travelling to
countries around the globe for up to 11 months of the year. "Most of the
people on our sales team are under 30," explains Tiffany. "We recruit people
who are adventure-seeking and provide them with the opportunity to work for a
company that is unique and dynamic."
"I congratulate Tiffany and Sabrina for their innovation and excellence.
They took an interesting concept, developed a novel product and turned it into
a thriving global enterprise. EPIC Newsgroup Inc. is a shining example of how
Canadians can capture the attention of worldwide markets," says BDC President
and CEO Jean-René Halde.
"You have to take it one step at a time and not get discouraged. Many
people who start their own businesses give up too early," says Sabrina of
being an entrepreneur. "You just have to be positive and believe that it is
going to work," adds Tiffany.
Young entrepreneurs in the spotlight
BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards are a highlight of Small Business Week,
providing the opportunity to honour the entrepreneurial spirit and business
success of Canadians between the ages of 19 and 35. Winners from each province
and territory are selected by a panel based on the originality of their
business concept, its success, growth potential and their community
involvement. The panel also considers the entrepreneur's age when the business
was started and any special challenges that had to be faced.
Small Business Week partners
Contributing to the success of this year's Small Business Week and Young
Entrepreneur Awards are the following national sponsors: Western Economic
Diversification Canada, Export Development Canada and Rogers. Privileged
partners are the Pan Canadian Community Futures Group and the Canadian Chamber
of Commerce, which has been a privileged partner of the event since 1981.
BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada.
BDC actively supports the development and growth of Canadian small and
medium-sized businesses through its complementary financial, investment and
consulting solutions.BDC is one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2008. Visit
www.bdc.ca for more information.
Small Business Week is a registered trademark of BDC.
For further information:
For further information: or to arrange for an interview on October 16:
Media Room: 1-866-515-6033, (204) 985-6251; After October 16: Johanne
Bissonnette, Media Relations Manager, (514) 283-7929