Northwestern B.C. program to encourage young entrepreneurs resumes

Watch for details of ThriveNorth competition in the new year

A COMPETITION in which young entrepreneurs can receive cash based on their business ideas is back for a second year.

ThriveNorth, financed by BG Canada, one of the companies hoping to build a LNG plant near Prince Rupert, and Futurpreneur Canada, a national agency aimed at developing young entrepreneurs, disbursed thousands of dollars in its first competition.

Those hoping to win this time around will be making their business case pitches before a panel of judges over a two-day period in Prince Rupert next spring.

“We look forward to supporting many more entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses throughout Northwest B.C.,” said Simon Nish from the BG Group of Thrive North.

Applications will be available in January 2016.

In its first business pitch competition, three winners won $10,000 each and three runners-up won $2,500 each.

Four other people took out loans through an equity match with TRICORP, an aboriginal lending corporation in the northwest and three took loans through Futurpreneur.

ThriveNorth also has a mentoring program for young entrepreneurs and in its first year, nine mentors were also used – four from Prince Rupert, one from Terrace, one from Vancouver, two from Quesnel and one from Prince George.

The initiative is run by Futurpreneur and BG Canada has made a five-year, $5 million overall commitment.