Entrepreneurs in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario also recognized
TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Iqaluit, Nunavut resident Bryan Hellwig has been
crowned eBay Canada's 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year for using the power of the
Internet to sell Inuit art globally. Taking home $5,000 to help grow his
business, Mr. Hellwig was selected from entrants across Canada.
From small towns to urban downtowns, the annual eBay Canada Entrepreneur
of the Year awards program recognizes Canadians who run successful online
businesses. For 2008, eBay introduced two new categories: Enviropreneur of the
Year - for Canadians who adopt sustainable and environmentally-friendly
practices when selling on eBay; and Mompreneur(*)of the Year - for Canadian
parents who use eBay to balance their entrepreneurial instincts with family
life. Canadians aged 18-24 contended for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year
award. Each category winner receives $2,000 towards their business.
This year's winners are as follows:
- eBay Canada's 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year - Bryan Hellwig from
Iqaluit, Nunavut (eBay ID: ringseal)
- eBay Canada's 2008 Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Matt Oehmen, age
23, from Ottawa, Ontario (eBay ID: honestredsrecords)
- eBay Canada's 2008 Enviropreneur of the Year - Marcello Biocchi
Montreal, Quebec (eBay ID: cello10)
- eBay Canada's 2008 Mompreneur(*)of the Year - Jennifer Fiander from
Hampton, New Brunswick (eBay ID: angelsmiles123)
This was the fourth annual eBay Canada Entrepreneur of the Year
competition. Entrants were asked to submit essays detailing their business
philosophies and innovations, and describing significant business challenges
they have faced and how they overcame them. Entrants considered for the
Enviropreneur and Mompreneur(*)of the Year awards were also asked to submit a
short essay describing how they adopted "green" practices or juggled business
with family life while selling on eBay, respectively.
"Canadian small businesses coast-to-coast have found a true business
partner in eBay," says Andrew Sloss, Country Manager for eBay Canada. "eBay's
awards program recognizes the ambitious and hardworking entrepreneurs who use
the Internet to reach a world-wide customer base while pursuing their dreams
right here at home."
Winners of this year's program were chosen by a respected panel of
industry experts and past winners including: Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi, Professor
at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability for the
University of British Columbia; Kathryn Betchold, founder of the Mompreneur(*)
Networking Group; and Jade Pearce, eBay business owner and recipient of eBay
Canada's 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
The Winners - eBay Canada's Top Four Entrepreneurs of the Year
After using eBay to purchase art for his personal collection, 2008
Entrepreneur of the Year Bryan Hellwig decided to try his hand at selling
Inuit and Northern art online. Mr. Hellwig now sells unique pieces around the
world that represent the culture and people of the True North. A savvy
entrepreneur, he has earned many repeat customers by offering small gifts and
reducing shipping rates to ease the costs associated with mailing items from
The Beatles' Abbey Road paved the way for Matt Oehmen's eBay business.
After realizing that eBay buyers would pay upwards of $1,000 for the album,
Mr. Oehmen began to catalog all the records in his collection. Since selling
his first record on eBay, this Young Entrepreneur of the Year has grown his
online business ten-fold and now offers rare records that many established
bricks-and-mortar record stores do not carry.
Enviropreneur of the Year winner Marcello Biocchi combined his love of
sports and his dedication to the environment to create a successful online
business reselling vintage sport jerseys. Mr. Biochhi believes that Canadians
can recycle and look good doing it. His eBay store's slogan is: 'Threads so
sweet, you'll forget you're recycling.' By selling vintage and collectable
sports-related clothing, Mr. Biocchi diverts waste from Canadian landfills,
and encourages sports fans to seek out and reuse clothing already
After giving birth to a son with special needs, Mompreneur(*) of the Year
winner Jennifer Fiander realized there was a lack of resources available for
parents like her. Taking matters into her own hands, she created a book for
her son's caregivers. Rave reviews prompted Ms. Fiander to follow up with a
second guide and post it for sale on eBay. After watching bids on eBay climb
higher and higher, she knew she was on to something big. Today, selling on
eBay gives Ms. Fiander the freedom and flexibility to work from home. She has
the time to take her son to doctor's appointments and therapy, as well as
provide her daughters with a great example of how they can be a working but
present mother while following their dreams.
(*)The term Mompreneur is registered trademark of The Mompreneur
Networking Group Inc.
About eBay Canada
Founded in 1995, eBay is the World's Online Marketplace(TM), connecting
hundreds of millions of people around the world every day, empowering them to
explore new opportunities and innovate together. eBay does this by providing
the Internet platforms of choice for global commerce, payments and
communications. Since its inception, eBay Inc. has expanded to include some of
the strongest brands in the world, including eBay, PayPal, Skype, StubHub,
Shopping.com, and others. In Canada, eBay was visited by more than 9 million
Canadians in August 2008. (comScore Media Metrix, August, 2008).
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