/R E P E A T -- Over 190 Aboriginal students from across Canada arrive in
Ottawa to present their projects at the tenth edition of E-Spirit Business
Plan Competition/

BDC's E-Spirit and Aboriginal students promote youth entrepreneurship in Canada

OTTAWA, May 5 /CNW Telbec/ - One hundred and ninety eight Aboriginal high school students across Canada qualified to attend the annual E-Spirit national Aboriginal Business Plan Competition that will take place in Ottawa from May 10 to 13. Organized by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), E-Spirit now celebrates ten years of existence.

For 16 weeks leading up to this Internet-based competition, students concentrated on developing viable business plans and perfected their presentation skills. Following the award ceremony on May 13, three teams will take home the Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes, while another twelve teams will receive Special Achievement awards. Over the past ten years, E-Spirit has exposed more than 4,000 Aboriginal youth to the potential of entrepreneurship.

Media opportunities include:

1. E-Spirit Trade Show

Media are welcome to visit the BDC E-Spirit trade show, meet with the student teams and review business ideas that range from innovative environmental solutions to lifestyle services.

    Date:     Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Time:     9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony
              10:00 a.m - 12:30 p.m. E-Spirit Business Tradeshow

    Location: Tabaret Hall, Room 112 and Rotunda, University of Ottawa Campus
              550 Cumberland Street, Ottawa

2. E-Spirit Cultural Event

Media are invited to attend the BDC E-Spirit cultural event.

    Date:     Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Time:     18:30 p.m. - 20:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony and cultural
              performances (Innuit Throat Singers, "Jig on the Fly" Jiggers
              and Mikinakonsag Singers)

    Location: Canadian Museum of Civilization
              100 Laurier Street, Gatineau

3. E-Spirit Awards Gala

Media are invited to attend the BDC E-Spirit awards gala.

    Date:     Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Time:     6:45 p.m. - 7.15 p.m.  Special opening performance, honour
                                     song and Elder blessing.
              7:15 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Awards Gala Ceremony.

    Location: Crowne Plaza Ottawa Hotel (International Ballroom)
              101 Lyon Street, Ottawa, ON

Interviews may be arranged with:

    a) Aboriginal students and teachers from across Canada
    b) Wilson Neapew, National Director, Aboriginal Banking, BDC
    c) Cheryl K. Watson, E-Spirit Project Manager, BDC
    d) Jim Albert, E-Spirit Elder
    e) Lyndsay Brisard, E-Spirit Alumnus
    f) Aaron Rae, E-Spirit Alumnus

The following schools will attend the E-Spirit Business Plan Competition in 2010:

    Canmore Collegiate High School (Canmore)

    British Columbia
    Pleasant Valley Secondary (Armstrong)
    Barriere Secondary School (Barriere)
    Clearwater Secondary School (Clearwater)
    Gold River Secondary School (Gold River)
    J.V.Humphries (Kaslo)
    Stein Valley Nlakapamux School (Lytton)
    Beattie School of the Arts - Pineridge Campus (Kamloops)
    Four Directions Storefront School (Kamloops)
    South Kamloops Secondary School (Kamloops)
    VAST Alternative School (Port Alberni)
    Correlieu Secondary School (Quesnel)
    Salmon Arm Secondary- Jackson Campus (Salmon Arm)
    Salmon Arm Secondary (Sullivan Campus) (Salmon Arm)
    W.L. Seaton Secondary School (Vernon)

    Children of the Earth High School (Winnipeg)
    Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute (The Pas)

    New Brunswick
    Southern Victoria High School (Perth-Andover)

    Lake Melville (Northwest River)

    Nova Scotia
    Chief Allison M. Bernard Memorial High School (Cape Breton)
    Holy Angels High School (Sydney)
    Sydney Academy (Sydney)
    Unamaki High School (Eskasoni)
    Wagmatcook School (Wagmatcook)

    Nuiyak School (Sanikiluaq)

    Fort Frances High School (Fort Frances)
    Pelican Falls First Nations High School (Sioux Lookout)

    Jean-Du-Nord École Secondaire (Sept-Îles)
    Manikanetish (Sept-Îles)
    Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan (Maniwaki)
    École Monseigneur-Labrie (Havre-St-Pierre)

    Kakisiwew School (Whitewood)

The E-Spirit program is organized by BDC and is supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

About BDC

BDC is Canada's business development bank. From 100 offices across the country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing, venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. Visit www.bdc.ca for more information.

For more information on E-Spirit, visit www.bdc.ca/espirit.

SOURCE Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information: For further information: Maria Constantinescu, BDC, Media Relations Coordinator, (514) 496-7146, maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca; On-site in Ottawa: May 10-13, 2010 only: Cell: (613) 868-1258, Media room: (613) 688-6208; Johanne Bissonnette, BDC, Media Relations Manager, (514) 283-7929, johanne.bissonnette@bdc.ca

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