2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award deadline looms - Apply by April 2, 2013 at noon EDT

MONTREAL, March 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Young entrepreneurs across Canada have until April 2 at noon Eastern Daylight Time to enter the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award for a chance to win a $100,000 grand prize to implement a turning point project that will propel their company to new growth. A second prize valued at $25,000 in consulting services will be awarded to the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award runner-up.

"All companies reach a turning point or a decisive moment when they need to make decisions that will likely have a long-term impact on their business," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "To move to the next level, some companies may choose to tap into new markets; others may decide to start selling online or to acquire new equipment that will increase their overall profitability."

Mike Miltimore of Lee's Music, finalist in last year's edition of the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, describes the application process as an opportunity to examine a company's growth plan, fill in the knowledge gaps and build a portfolio to prove success.  He says participation in the contest opened a lot of unexpected doors for him, noting his second place national finish also netted him $25,000 in consulting services and significant visibility opportunities.

"Our business has grown exponentially: orders started flowing in, we've heard from many international distributors who want to carry our new line, we even sent a custom-made guitar to Sir Paul McCartney," says Miltimore.  "We ended up expanding our manufacturing capabilities to better meet the demand and tap into these new markets. If I could, I'd enter the contest again in a heartbeat," he said.

To enter the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, applicants must produce a short one-to-two minute video to present a turning point their business has reached and the solution they propose to take the company to the next level.  All entries have to describe a project that has yet to be implemented.

"The application process is straight-forward," says Bergeron. "Fill out the contest's application form and submit your video online at www.bdcyoungentrepreneuraward.ca.  We are looking for feasible solutions with a clear potential to improve the company's growth prospects and for clear descriptions of the turning point your business has reached, including an overview of your market conditions."

Apply for the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award
The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest is open to all Canadian entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 as of December 31, 2012.  Applicants must also be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and run a Canadian-based business that has been in operation for at least two years and is in good financial health.  They must have been responsible for their company's day-to-day management for at least two years and must hold at least 20% of the company's capital stock.

Eleven selection committees -one for each province and one for the combined territories- will meet to review the contest applications and videos. The post-production quality of the videos (special visual or sound effects) will not be taken into consideration in the final evaluation.

The finalists will be announced on May 22, 2013, when Canadians will start voting for their favourite turning point projects on the contest's microsite.  The voting period ends on June 11 and the winners will be announced on June 17, 2013.

More information about the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, including the application formtips on preparing the video entry, a detailed FAQ and contest rules and regulations is available at www.bdcyoungentrepreneuraward.ca. Contest entries can be submitted until April 2, 2013 at noon Eastern Daylight Time.

For updates about the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award, follow BDC on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award finalists are selected by provincial committees to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. The winners are selected by public vote and a second prize of $25,000 in consulting services is awarded to the contest runner-up. The Financial Post and La Presse are the media partners of the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. 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 financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity. www.bdc.ca


For further information:

Maria Constantinescu
Senior Advisor, Public Relations
(514) 496-7146

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