Desjardins Entrepreneur Prizes - Applications accepted until March 20

    LEVIS, QC, Jan. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group launches the call for
candidates for the Desjardins Entrepreneurship Prizes, which recognize and
showcase the achievements of outstanding entrepreneurs and businesses in
Québec and Ontario.
    Businesses which are proud of their achievements have until March 20,
2009 to send in their application. The program consists of five categories:

    International Commerce Prize: In collaboration with Export Development
Canada, this prize recognizes a strategy specifically designed for
international trade development.

    Sustainable Development Prize: In collaboration with Bell Canada, this
prize is awarded to businesses that demonstrate effective management, sound
governance and socially responsible leadership.

    Young Entrepreneurs Prizes: These prizes are awarded to young
entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 who stand out for their
creativity, achievements and contribution to work creation. Fondation
Desjardins and the Québec government's Secrétariat à la jeunesse, as part of
the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge program, will award four $10,000
bursaries to winners from every region (Eastern, Central and Western Quebec
and Ontario).

    Business Ownership Transfer Prize: In collaboration with Samson
Bélair/Deloitte & Touche, this prize is awarded to a business that has made a
successful business transfer.

    Agriculture: A new category to recognize the good management practices
and leadership of businesses facing the challenges of the agricultural sector.

    A nomination for Desjardins Entrepreneurship Prize enhances a business'
reputation and credibility to the public and business world. It also promotes
the business and contributes to increasing employee engagement. Media
visibility in collaboration with the weekly Les Affaires worth over $40,000 is
also gained.
    Applications will be assessed by a jury composed of leaders in the
business and university sectors, according to the selection criteria for each
prize. Winning businesses will be announced next October.

    To submit an application or obtain further details on the prizes, go to

    About Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada,
with overall assets of $150 billion, as at September 30, 2008. It comprises a
network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Québec and Ontario,
and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general insurance, securities
brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of which are active
across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees and the
commitment of more than 6,500 elected officers, Desjardins offers its 5.8
million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of financial
products and services. Its physical distribution network is complemented by
leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult

For further information:

For further information: (for journalists only): Nathalie Genest,
Advisor, Information and Media Relations, (514) 281-7275, 1-866-866-7000, ext.

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