Support Winnipeg's Canine Companions

Vote for Manitoba's finalist for the $100,000 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award

WINNIPEG, June 3, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning-point project "Top Dog," submitted by local businesswoman Laurel Skuba, will represent Manitoba in the finals for the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.

Laurel's project will help her company, The Pawsh Dog Inc., create a revolutionary canine physiotherapy and rehabilitation of injuries and age-related conditions that often lead to premature loss of mobility and euthanasia. To claim the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award $100,000 grand prize and fund this project, Laurel needs votes from Canadians from coast-to-coast.

To say Laurel is a dog person is an understatement. Through high school and university, she groomed, trained and showed some of Canada's top purebred dogs. Afterward, it didn't take long for a desk job as an auditor with an accounting firm to make her re-evaluate her career path. The Pawsh Dog was born. Six years later, Laurel is moving forward with a trend-setting expansion that could revolutionize canine healthcare in Canada.

"We cater to working professionals - people with busy lives who want the best for their dogs when they can't be there," Laurel says. "But there is only so much we can do for the health and quality of life of their pets. Dogs, like people, can benefit from disciplines like rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, laser therapy, massage, chiropractic and acupuncture, but no one, including local veterinarians, offers all these services under one roof."

The Pawsh Dog has opened its fourth location, The Pawsh Dog Wellness Centre, which includes a hydrotherapy pool, a dry-land fitness facility and a team of canine-mobility specialists. However, due to regulatory constraints, the facility can't provide medical or therapeutic treatments without the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Keeping a local vet on call is cost prohibitive for most clients and few vets have the qualifications to oversee the full range of services Laurel wants to provide.

The plan is to partner with a dedicated vet and invest further in training and certification so that Laurel has all the expertise the wellness centre requires. The centre also needs an underwater treadmill to make full use of the pool. With all the pieces in place, the Pawsh Dog will be unique in Canada, with an elite group of specialists able to provide an unmatched level of convenience and service, at a reasonable cost.

"Each of this year's finalists has provided a compelling story about how their business stands at that crucial crossroads where the right mix of vision and action can secure future growth and success," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "With her canine wellness centre, Laurel is giving dog owners a better way to help their furry friends live longer, healthier lives."

"This is a unique offering that our competitors will not be able to easily or inexpensively offer," Laurel says. "Anybody who has ever owned an animal and watched them get sick and lose the ability to run and play will be sympathetic to this cause. Vote for us so we can make our wellness centre a success and turn it into a national chain for dog owners everywhere."

Voting for the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from June 3 to June 17. To support your favourite project, log onto the contest microsite and vote once a day. Follow the contest through updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Visit bdc.ca/awards to learn about other ways in which BDC recognizes Canadian entrepreneurs. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up will be announced on June 22. The runner-up will receive $25,000 in consulting services.

About the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest

Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age. Ten finalists were selected to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. A second prize of $25,000 in consulting services will be awarded to the contest runner-up. A national committee evaluates the quality of the finalist projects and gives each finalist a ranking that will be combined with the public vote. In 2015, the national committee evaluation is weighted to account for 50% of each project's final ranking, and the public vote will account for the remaining 50% of the ranking. www.bdc.ca/yea

About BDC

Canada's business development bank, BDC, puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers loansconsulting services, growth and business transition capital, securitization, as well as venture capital to more than 30,000 small and medium‑sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity. To learn more, please visit www.bdc.ca

 

SOURCE Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information: Maria Constantinescu, Senior Advisor, Public Relations, BDC, maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca, (514) 496-7146

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