Launch of the 2012 Desjardins Entrepreneur Awards

LÉVIS, QC, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group ( is launching a call for nominations for the Desjardins Entrepreneur Awards ( The 2012 edition of the competition features eight award categories.

"The Desjardins Entrepreneur Awards allow us to recognize and honour Québec and Ontario individuals and businesses who, day after day, help build our economy. Once again this year, we are very proud to pay tribute to the determination, dedication and innovation of entrepreneurs," said Jean Brosseau, Vice-President, Marketing and Network Support, Business and Institutional Services.

2012 Desjardins Entrepreneur Award Categories

Woman of Influence Award, given to an outstanding woman of exceptional accomplishments and who is an inspiring model of success.

Innovation & Productivity Award, which highlights innovative strategies set up by a small or medium-size business to considerably increase productivity in the long term.

Agricultural Award recognizes sound management practices and leadership of businesses in the agricultural sector, in collaboration with Metro, a partner in this prize.

International Commerce Award, sponsored jointly by Export Development Canada, recognizes a business that stood out thanks to strategies specifically designed for international trade.

Co-op Award, presented in partnership with Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins to a cooperative that stands out for its financial performance, sound management and outstanding application of the cooperative model.

Sustainable Development Award, given to a business that demonstrates effective management, sound governance and socially-responsible leadership. Co-presented with Bell.

Young Entrepreneur Awards, in partnership with the Secrétariat à la jeunesse du gouvernement du Québec, as part of the Défi de l'entrepreneuriat jeunesse, is awarded to young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 35 who demonstrate exceptional creativity and achievement, along with employment development. Furthermore, Fondation Desjardins will award a $10,000 prize to the winner of each region (Eastern Quebec, Central Quebec, Western Quebec and Ontario).

Business Ownership Transfer Award, sponsored jointly by Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche, for a business that has carried out a business transfer with superior results.

In addition, in partnership with Fasken Martineau, the Business Leadership Award - Major Corporation is back this year to pay homage to a key business leader for his or her vision and performance. The award's recipient is selected separately by a Desjardins committee.

A nomination for the Desjardins Entrepreneur Awards is an excellent way for businesses to raise their visibility and credibility with the business community and public at large. It also provides major media exposure offered by Les Affaires.

Nominations will be evaluated by a jury composed of leaders from the business and academic communities, according to the criteria established for each category. Finalists will be announced in June.

In partnership with La Coop fédérée and the Fédération de la relève agricole du Québec, Desjardins is also launching the 2012 edition of the Fonds coopératif d'aide à la relève agricole (Cooperative Fund for Future Farmers), Farm Transfer Grant component. This fund helps young entrepreneurs develop their management reflexes and pursue their goal of starting up or developing an agricultural business. The six winners will be announced at the same time as the winners of the Desjardins Entrepreneur Awards at the Gala to be held at Complexe Desjardins during Cooperation Week, in October 2012.

Businesses have until March 30, 2012 to enter. To submit a nomination or learn more about the awards, please contact your Desjardins account manager or visit the official site:

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada with assets of nearly $190 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty Insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country and among Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2012TM, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 43,600 employees and the commitment of nearly 6,000 elected officers. A new education and cooperation program is now available to Desjardins members and the general public. For more information, visit


For further information:

(for journalists only):
Nathalie Genest
Desjardins Group
514-281-7275 or 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7275

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