MONTREAL, April 16, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honorary Presidency of the 15th edition of the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest (QEC), presented by Mouvement Desjardins, is being shared this year by Cora Tsouflidou, founder of the Chez Cora franchise, and Martin Thibault, co-founder of Absolunet and one of the first participants in this Contest that recognizes entrepreneurial projects in the schools as well as start-up projects. The announcement of the joint presidency took place on April 15, 2013, in the presence of this edition's main partners, including presenting partner Mouvement Desjardins, and Léo Bureau-Blouin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier, for Youth, and Member for Laval-des-Rapides.
Perseverance and self-confidence: Keys to success
An exceptional businesswoman who is highly acclaimed for creating a franchise of over 130 restaurants throughout the country, Cora Tsouflidou is of the firm conviction that the entrepreneurial adventure is first and foremost a human one. As a self-made woman who has inspired many others, she believes that "there is no finer word that entrepreneur. It's all about making decisions, about making up one's mind to undertake something, taking matters in hand, and so forth. Entrepreneurship involves a conscious decision to live fully. It is my wish, therefore, that all the participants in this prestigious contest can begin to savour the greatest victory of all, that of living up to their own potential."
Mr. Thibault first got involved in the Contest over a dozen years ago, when he created Absolunet, a Web solutions business. The company, which currently employs over 60 people, has never stopped growing. Mr. Thibault took advantage of the occasion to encourage emerging entrepreneurs "who want to make their dreams come true. The road may be long at times," he said, "and there may be many obstacles, but with perseverance, passion and creativity you can enjoy a rewarding entrepreneurial experience on so very many levels. Don't hesitate to make use of the opportunities to excel that will surely come your way."
Substantial interest in the 15th edition
The QEC marked the occasion by presenting the exceptional participation figures for this edition, which has seen an increase in the number of projects submitted in both divisions. Detailed results are available on the organization's Web site at www.concours-entrepreneur.org. Mr. Bureau-Blouin underscored the importance of cultivating entrepreneurial values from an early age. "I am very happy to see that so many young people are developing their entrepreneurial spirit while still in school. It is actually one of the fundamental objectives of the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. This year, 51 138 students took part in the Contest, working on over 2 500 entrepreneurial projects throughout Québec. In this regard, the province is an example, and that's something we can be proud of. Québec's prosperity depends, among other things, on the initiative and creativity of the new generation. A contest like this one provides a direct stimulus to innovation and self-confidence among young people, and these qualities are essential for the development of our society. Entrepreneurial succession is also an important issue in the Québec youth consultation tour that I will begin soon" said Mr. Bureau-Blouin.
Movement Desjardins will present the grand finale live on the Internet
Mouvement Desjardins is acting as a presenting partner for this 15th edition, which will award over $500 000 in grants to winners in the various categories. The names of the winners at the provincial level will be announced at the Desjardins Provincial Grand Prize Gala. This will bring together over 800 finalists and partners and will be broadcast live on the Web starting at 5:30 p.m. on June 19 of this year. The Web address is: www.concours-entrepreneur.org .
Many partners are providing support for the next generation of entrepreneurs
The Contest relies on an invaluable network of some 400 support staff. A number of government departments and agencies are also involved. Mainly, these include the Secrétariat à la jeunesse under the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and the Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie.
This edition is also supported by the newspaper Les Affaires, our official provincial media partner, as well as by Rogers, Gaz Métro, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Barreau du Québec, the Fondation CPA, Saputo, the Association des Centres locaux de développement du Québec, the Réseau des SADC et CAE du Québec, Entrepreneuriat Québec and the Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins. A number of awards partners have been added to this highly valued roster.
The Québec Entrepreneurship Contest is intended to support the development of entrepreneurship in Québec by providing recognition for business initiatives from around the province. The Student Entrepreneurship division encourages students to create projects that contribute to the development of entrepreneurial values in the education community. The Contest's Business Creation division encourages entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of launching a business. Over the course of 15 years, nearly 1.3 million participants have completed in excess of 67 000 projects.
SOURCE: CONCOURS QUEBECOIS EN ENTREPRENEURIAT
For further information:
Marc Poisson, National