Vote for Territories finalist in the race for $100,000 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award Grand Prize
YELLOWKNIFE, May 29, 2014 /CNW/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning-point project, "Northern Exposure" submitted by local business woman Nicole Redvers, will represent Canada's Territories in the finals of the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award (BDC YEA).
Nicole's project will allow her business, Gaia Integrative Clinic, expand to provide to Yellowknife and surrounding communities healthcare services not commonly available in Canada's North. To claim the $100,000 Grand Prize and fund her expansion, Nicole needs votes from Canadians coast-to-coast.
Bringing quality medical services to northern communities may be a tall order, but the Gaia Integrative Clinic has found the right prescription to make it happen. The clinic is the only integrated team-based wellness centre in Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories and high demand for its medical services has left it in urgent need of expansion. To serve more patients, Nicole and her team want to hire more practitioners and increase the scope of the current offering. They also want to staff rotating travel clinics to cater to residents in remote communities that traditionally have limited access to healthcare.
"Aside from the public system, there is little else," says Nicole. "Despite the services we already offer to our communities and the number of patient lives we have touched, we keep seeing a constant need for more specialized care and more capacity."
Her team of ten health practitioners and three support staff has taken an entrepreneurial approach to create positive community change and to address challenges related to timely delivery and access to health and wellness services. The clinic is supported by a management company that Nicole founded to help the practitioners on the clinic's roster concentrate on patients without having to worry about managing operational aspects such as administration and record keeping.
In three short years, Nicole grew Gaia from a single home-based naturopathic practice into a powerhouse. The clinic now offers naturopathic medicine, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, life coaching, therapeutic counseling, childbirth counseling and birth doula services. The expansion project would allow the addition of more specialists as well as physiotherapy and private lab services and a yoga studio. Operational expansion is also in the works with the addition of an electronic health records system.
"Each of this year's finalists has shared a compelling story about how their business stands at that crucial crossroads where the right mix of vision and action can secure future growth and success," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "With her clinic, Nicole has demonstrated that an entrepreneur's success isn't measured only in dollars, but also in terms of high community impact."
"Winning the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award would mean everything for our business," says Nicole. "Our work in Yellowknife shows how a successful company can be socially driven and thrive. We want to continue to improve the quality of life in our community and your votes can help us do so much more."
Voting for the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from May 29 to June 12 at noon EST. To support your favourite project, log into the contest website and vote once a day. Follow the contest through updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Visit bdc.ca/awards to learn other ways in which BDC recognizes Canadian entrepreneurs. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up will be announced on June 18. The runner-up will receive $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC.
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. This year, nine finalists were selected to compete for a $100,000 Grand Prize. A second prize of $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC will be awarded to the contest runner-up. For the first time in 2014, a national committee evaluated the quality of the finalist projects and gave each finalist a ranking that will be combined with the public vote. The national committee evaluation was weighted to account for 30% of each project's final ranking and the public vote will account for the remaining 70% of the ranking. www.bdc.ca/yea.
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.
SOURCE: Business Development Bank of Canada
For further information: Maria Constantinescu, Senior Advisor, Public Relations, BDC, [email protected], (514) 496-7146