Caroline Néron is the Honourary President of the 16th Québec Entrepreneurship Contest (QEC)

QUÉBEC CITY, Nov. 12, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The president and owner of Groupe Néron, Caroline Néron, will serve as the Honourary President of the 16th edition of the QEC, presented by Mouvement Desjardins. When this announcement was made, Ms. Néron declared that she was proud to be associated with this important contest, which has provided support for up-and-coming entrepreneurs for over 15 years, "I am truly very honoured that the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest has asked me to act as Honourary President for this year's edition. My experience in recent years has taught me how important it is for budding entrepreneurs to be supported, encouraged and even honoured for all they have accomplished." In 2004, Ms. Néron was able to draw on her innate business acumen to found her own jewellery company, which now has over 19 stores and more than 100 sales outlets. The company recently earned first place in the list of leaders of growth published in the magazine L'Actualité.

Mouvement Desjardins is presenting the event
Again this year, Mouvement Desjardins will serve as the presenting partner for the Contest, which will award over $600 000 to winners in a range of categories at the regional and provincial level. For Michel Ruest, vice-president in charge of major accounts for medium-sized businesses in Eastern Québec, Mouvement Desjardins' commitment to the Contest is unwavering, "It's in Desjardins' DNA to give concrete support to the new generation of entrepreneurs, which has the energy, talent and ideas required to create prosperous businesses that will generate tangible spinoffs throughout Québec."

Registration deadline: March 17, 2014
Keep in mind that the QEC recognizes entrepreneurial school projects and new businesses in their startup and pre-startup phases. The registration deadline for the 16th edition of the Contest is March 17, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. The names of the winners at the provincial level will be announced at the Desjardins Grand Prize Gala, which will take place in Québec City on June 18, 2014. Complete details are available on the Contest's Web site at:

Over 52 900 people took part in the previous edition of the Contest, which is unique in this area. Over 2 500 entrepreneurial school projects were submitted in 2013. Also, 1 200 new businesses from throughout Québec and in all sectors of activity were able to gauge their potential in the Contest's selection process. Over a million people have taken part in the Contest since its inception.

New this year: Grants for former prizewinners
The QEC will soon present the details surrounding the creation of new prizes for former winners who took part in the Contest at least five years ago. A $10 000 prize will be offered in each of the 17 regions while one prize of $25 000 will be awarded at the provincial level. Funding for all of these will be provided by the Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie. The juries will mainly evaluate how the various aspects of each company have evolved since it first participated in the Contest, as well as each company's vision of the future.

About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world with assets close to $205 billion. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. The group has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry, and outranks all American banks as the fourth safest and strongest bank in North America, according to Global Finance magazine and Bloomberg News respectively. In keeping with their cooperative nature, Desjardins Caisses' surplus earnings are reinvested in the communities they serve.

Up-and-coming entrepreneurs supported by numerous partners
The Québec government will act as the chief partner of the QEC, which is also supported by a network of some 400 invaluable associates throughout Québec. The Secrétariat à la jeunesse, the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and the Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie are also involved in the Contest. The 16th edition of the QEC is also supported by many partners who support the development of entrepreneurship in Québec. These include Les Affaires magazine, Vidéotron Business Solutions, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Gaz Métro, the CPA Foundation of Québec, Saputo, the Association des centre locaux de développement Québec, Entrepreneuriat Québec and the Réseau des SADC et CAE du Québec. Over 20 other partners actively support our mission.

SOURCE: Québec Entrepreneurship Contest

For further information:

Éric Darveau
Québec Entrepreneurship Contest

Information about Desjardins (for journalists only):
Francine BlackBurn
Conseillère, relations de presse
Desjardins Group
514 281-7000 or 1 866 866-7000, est. 7544

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