Northern Canadian Adventure Racing : a prize business - Scott Smith wins BDC's Young Entrepreneur Award for Northwest Territories



    YELLOWKNIFE, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - For Scott Smith, Northern Canadian
Adventure Racing Inc. is more than just a company he founded: it's a
lifestyle. His business, which stages endurance races in the Far North, is
attracting athletes and media from around the world and generating excitement
in Yellowknife. For this success, Scott, 34, has earned BDC's Young
Entrepreneur Award for Northwest Territories and will be honoured tonight at a
ceremony in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    Northern Canadian Adventure Racing, founded by Scott in 2006, held its
first race, the Rock and Ice Ultra, this past spring. The event attracted 100
endurance athletes from 10 countries to Canada's far north for a series of
races on foot, snowshoe or skis. "Many physical endurance races are run in
deserts around the world," says Scott. "We promote this one as a race in the
'other' desert - the cold, frozen one." The second Rock and Ice Ultra will be
held in the spring of 2008. Scott and his crew are now looking for venues in
order to add a summer race, as well as a multi-sport racing event.
    No stranger to physical endurance sports, Scott has mountain biked across
Canada and skied across Greenland. He has also spent 15 years in mining
exploration, which has taken him to some of the most extreme and remote spots
in the world. "I have always approached my work in mineral exploration as a
physical challenge," he says. "My career has been a lot like an adventure
race, and starting Northern Canadian Adventure Racing is really an extension
of that."

    Eyes on the prize

    Scott's experience in the mining exploration industry has also proven
valuable in helping to find sponsors. The title sponsor of the first race, BHP
Billiton, provided a purse of $30,000 worth of diamonds and flew the winners
to its mine for the prize-giving ceremony. "No other endurance race offers
such a unique prize," says Scott.
    To help promote the events, Scott brought Ray Zahab on board as race
director. Ray, one of the world's top endurance racers, recently garnered
considerable media attention, including a spot on the Tonight Show with Jay
Leno, for having raced 7,500 kilometres across the Sahara Desert. Scott also
markets his races by attending other endurance events around the world.
    Northern Canadian Adventure Racing currently has 12 employees, many of
them volunteers who share Scott's passion for physical endurance races in the
outdoors. A much larger number of local Yellowknife residents also turned out
to volunteer for the Rock and Ice Ultra. "The race attracted a lot of media
attention as well as a different category of visitor to the area, beyond those
who come to hunt and fish," explains Scott. "The community has been really
supportive and their feedback has been very positive."
    Adding to the success of the event is the fact that the Rock and Ice
Ultra was also a fund-raiser. Participants got people to sponsor them in the
race, with the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society.
    "Scott is to be congratulated for his venture. He has found a unique way
to turn his experience in mining exploration into a business that reflects his
passion and his lifestyle," says BDC President and CEO Jean-René Halde.
    "There's no better feeling in the world than to work for yourself," says
Scott. "You may have to work harder and work longer, but if you choose
something you're really passionate about, then it's worth it."

    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.

    About BDC

    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


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