Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

October 13, 2009 06:00 ET

University of Ottawa to host the tenth edition of BDC's National Aboriginal Youth Business Plan Competition

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - October 13, 2009) - The University of Ottawa and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the 2010 E-Spirit Awards gathering will be held at the University of Ottawa campus from May 11 to 13, 2010. Aimed at Aboriginal youth in Grades 10 to 12, E-Spirit is an Internet-based business plan competition that provides interactive business planning resources, online access to mentoring and extensive student networking opportunities. E-Spirit aims to increase students' awareness of entrepreneurial and business opportunities, management and business skills, e-commerce and technological capacities. E-Spirit Milestones Between September 14 and October 9, 2009, 67 student teams across Canada registered for E-Spirit. The teams must now complete the 16-week interactive business planning competition whose final leg is scheduled to end on February 5, 2010 with the submission of the business plan and video presentation. In order to facilitate online interaction between mentors and students, each year BDC donates a state-of-the-art-computer to participating schools that are new to the E-Spirit program. "BDC continues to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in their pursuit of preserving the Aboriginal cultural heritage while building a brighter future for themselves and their home communities", said Wilson Neapew, National Director, Aboriginal Banking Unit at BDC. "In doing so, we are proud to partner with the University of Ottawa for the tenth edition of E-Spirit." To qualify for the tradeshow and final presentation rounds in Ottawa, the teams must successfully complete three consecutive milestones. Various prizes will be awarded to teams upon completion of each milestone.

    Milestone #1:

    October 19 - October 24, 2009 Module One - Entrepreneurial Assessment
    October 26 - October 30, 2009 Module Two - Business Overview
    November 2 - November 13, 2009 Module Three - Management
    November 16 - November 27, 2009 Module Four - Operation

    Milestone #2:

    November 30 - December 11, 2009 Module Five - Marketing
    January 4 - January 22, 2010 Module Six - Financial Statements
    January 25 - January 29, 2010 Module Seven - Executive Summary

    Milestone #3:

    February 5, 2010 Final Submission of Business Plan & Video Presentation
Confirmation of completion must be received by the dates indicated to qualify for milestone prizes. The final submission of the business plan must be received no later than February 5, 2010 to qualify for judging and invitation to the Ottawa awards gathering. E-Spirit Finals During a public tradeshow in Ottawa, the qualifying teams will present their business idea to an independent panel of experts who will judge the business plans and accompanying displays. Displays can include posters, detailed 3D mock-ups, product samples, business cards, promotional videos and laptop demonstrations. Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies as well as monetary awards will be presented to the top three winning teams during a special award ceremony held on May 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ottawa. Other twelve teams will receive Special Achievement awards. "More of our youth are taking an interest in business, which is good to see", said E-Spirit Elder Jim Albert. "It is important for them to approach business from an understanding of the teachings and a good knowledge of who they are as Aboriginal people." Over the last nine years, more than 4, 500 Aboriginal students from high schools across the country have participated in the program. The E-Spirit program was developed by BDC and is supported by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and Aboriginal Business Canada. More information about E-Spirit as well as student testimonials about E-Spirit 2009 are available at About BDC BDC is Canada's business development bank. From more than 100 offices across the country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing, venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. Visit for more information.

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