Fourteen aspiring young business owners pitched their ideas in the ThriveNorth Business Challenge in Prince Rupert on May 18 for a chance to win up to $10,000 in prize money towards their businesses.
Four finalists competed in each category, Best Growth Opportunity, Best New Business (aged 18 to 28) and Best New Business (aged 29 to 39).
Kitimat entrepreneur Tara Young, pitching her business Forever Young Services, didn’t win in her category, but did receive $1,000 to help with her business goals.
The challenge is part of a program run in partnership by the province, Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG to provide $356,000 to teach Indigenous and other rural youth valuable business skills.
In the last two years alone, ThriveNorth has provided 183 B.C. youth with entrepreneurial training and support, 24 youth with mentoring and 41 young entrepreneurs with financing to launch businesses in their communities, with has created 72 jobs.
Kitimat entrepreneurs that have received assistance from the Futurpreneur program since it was launched include YA Films, a production company run by its creative director Gilda Diaz and production member Andrew Stewart, and Reltek Installation and Solutions, an installation and maintenance company launched in 2017 by Lorne Kethler.