Desjardins Entrepreneur Prizes Applications accepted until March 31

MONTREAL, Feb. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group launches a call for candidates for its 2010 Desjardins Entrepreneur Prizes, which recognize excellence and showcase the achievements of outstanding Quebec and Ontario entrepreneurs and businesses.

Businesses with a successful track record have until March 31, 2010 to send in their applications to compete in six different categories:

    - International Commerce Prize, sponsored jointly by Export Development
      Canada, recognizes a strategy specifically designed for international
      trade development.

    - Sustainable Development Prize, sponsored jointly by Bell Canada, is
      awarded to businesses that demonstrate outstanding management, sound
      governance and exceptional leadership in socially responsible business

    - Young Entrepreneur Prize is awarded to young entrepreneurs between the
      ages of 18 to 35 who demonstrate exceptional creativity and
      achievement, along with employment creation. As part of the Youth
      Entrepreneurship Challenge program, the Fondation Desjardins and the
      Québec Government's Secrétariat à la jeunesse, will award a $10,000
      prize to the winner of each region (Eastern Quebec, Central Quebec,
      Western Quebec and Ontario).

    - Business Ownership Transfer Prize, sponsored jointly by the accounting
      firm Samson Bélair/Deloitte & Touche, recognizes a business that has
      successfully achieved a business ownership transfer.

    - Agriculture Prize recognizes sound management practices and leadership
      of businesses dealing with the challenges of the agricultural sector.

    - Desjardins Co-op Prize, a new category sponsored jointly by Capital
      régional et coopératif Desjardins, recognizes sound management
      practices, outstanding financial performance and a noteworthy
      application of the cooperative model.

A nomination for a Desjardins Entrepreneur Prize is an excellent way for businesses to increase their visibility and credibility with the business community and the public at large. It also enhances the reputation of the business and motivates its employees. Media exposure, worth over $40,000, in collaboration with the Journal Les Affaires is also gained.

Applications will be assessed by a jury composed of leaders of the business and university sectors, according to the selection criteria for each prize. Winning businesses will be announced in October.

To submit an application form or obtain further details about Desjardins Entrepreneur Prizes, go to

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, and the sixth largest in the world, with overall assets of $163 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, as well as its subsidiaries, several of which are active throughout Canada, Desjardins offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million individual and business members and clients. Desjardins Group is also home to a wealth of expertise in property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, wealth management, services for businesses of all sizes, securities brokerage, venture capital, asset management and secure leading-edge virtual access methods, all part of an integrated offer that is the only one of its kind in Canada. One of the largest employers in the country, Desjardins is backed by the knowledge and skills of its 42,000 employees and the commitment of its 6,300 elected officers. To find out more, consult

SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: For further information: (for journalists only): Francine BlackBurn, Advisor, Media Relations, Desjardins Group, (514) 281-7275, 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7275,

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