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Brett Sheffield, the owner of Sheffield Farms and Stay Fit Health Club, is also a student at the University of Manitoba.
Brett Sheffield, the owner of Sheffield Farms and Stay Fit Health Club, is also a student at the University of Manitoba.

Small Business Briefing

Manitoba student wins national competition Add to ...

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How does he find the time?

A full-time student at the University of Manitoba has been named national champion by charitable organization Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE).

Brett Sheffield, who is also the owner of Sheffield Farms and Stay Fit Health Club, took the 2012 prize on May 9 in Calgary, prevailing over five other regional finalists from across Canada, each of whom presented their business outlines and achievements to a judging panel made up of 50 industry leaders and CEOs. His next stop will be the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in New York in November.

“Sheffield’s determination and proven business achievements, such as expanding his farm from 160 to 1,700 acres and pioneering a second business while maintaining his honour roll status at school, are ideal qualities of a student entrepreneur champion,” Amy Harder, president of ACE, says in a press release.

Sheffield Farms is a grain farm in rural Manitoba, founded in 2008, and Stay Fit Health Club is a 24-hour fitness centre in its first year of operation.

More than 1,200 students, academic professionals and Canadian business leaders took part in the 2012 ACE National Exposition, which engages generations of leaders around the cause of "building a better Canada."

Also this week in Calgary, a 50-person judging panel set up by ACE named Memorial University of Newfoundland the 2012 Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) national champion. That competition involved three rounds between 50 teams representing close to 700 students from across the country.

The Memorial team was cited for its work with a variety of audiences in its community. Through its efforts and 13 projects, ACE says, "it directly impacted 4,729 people, created 47 jobs, dedicated more than 22,137 volunteer hours and delivered an economic impact in excess of $2 million."

The SIFE program is operated by ACE, and it provides university and college students access to real world experience through economic outreach projects that complement in-class studies.

Giving students a leg up

I had the opportunity to moderate a leadership panel discussion last week at the AIESEC Canada Youth to Business Forum in Toronto, attended by about 400 students from across the country and 20 company representatives. The panelists represented a variety of businesses and organizations, including academia, economic development, and business banking. Topics ranged from skills university students will require to give them a leg up once they enter the work force, to how companies can effectively integrate Gen Y employees, and whether Canada has the necessary infrastructure in place to help aspiring entrepreneurs get off the ground and grow. Click here to view an archive of the live stream from the event. AIESEC is a global not-for-profit organization run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education. The program involves leadership opportunities, international internships and interacting with a global network to support student development.

Twenty-five years of .CA

May 14 marks the 25th anniversary of the .CA domain name for Canada, when its management was delegated by Jon Postel, operator of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), to Webnames.ca co-founder John Demco. For 13 years, Mr. Demco and a group of volunteers managed the domain space from his University of British Columbia office, allocating and administering it at no charge to users on a voluntary basis. By 2000, 100,000 .CA domain names had been registered, exceeding the capacity of a volunteer undertaking. That December, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), a not-for-profit corporation, took over the operation, and CIRA has accredited more than 90 registrars to act as "retailers" of .CA domains to the Canadian public. One million .CA domains were registered in 2008. Webnames.ca celebrates the 25th anniversary with a week-long $9 domain promotion for new registrations. It runs from May 14th at 12 a.m. PT, until May 18 at 11:59 p.m. PT. When you get to the site, search your domain name and enter 25YEARCA during checkout. In other news, the number of phishing sites in Canada grew 170 per cent in the past year, making it the second most popular phishing-site host country in the world.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

International trade experts in Winnipeg

More than 600 business leaders from around the world, including chambers of commerce, world trade centres, economic development agencies and government trade representatives, will make Centrallia a great opportunity for small and medium-sized companies. The event runs from Oct. 10 to 12, and includes an exhibit area, business matchmaking meetings, seminars and industry tours offering numerous networking opportunities. It will feature various industries such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, agri-business and food processing, aerospace, life sciences and biotechnology, information and communications technology, film, new media, gaming, tourism, education, building products, mining and minerals, energy and environmental industries.

Cross border trade and travel

Canada and the U.S. share the world’s largest border and one of the most dynamic trading relationships, so expediting cross-border trade and travel is vital to their economies. Whether you’re part of a small or medium-sized enterprise that’s eligible to participate in coming pilot projects aimed at easing border congestion and paperwork, or you’re one of the 400,000 people who cross the border daily for business or pleasure, you could benefit from the Ivey Idea Forum entitled Border Barriers: Reducing Red Tape Along the 49th Parallel. The event in Toronto which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., features Simon Kennedy, a key player in border action plans, who will provide context on the Canada-U.S. border deal and discuss how it’s being implemented with close attention to how it can improve companies’ bottom-line. Tickets are $25, with a $20 alumni rate and a $15 student rate.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

The gravy-soaked battlefield

Since it opened in Toronto's club district in 2008, Smoke's Poutinerie has been a runaway success with the late-night crowd. And New York Fries is in the midst of an ambitious expansion effort: a full-scale move into poutine. Each of its 120 Canadian locations has been remodelled to add poutinerie stations. Which one will emerge on top? Or is there plenty of room for both? Check out our story from the June issue of Report on Small Business magazine to find out.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Hungry yet?

In the October, 2011 issue of Report on Small Business magazine, we profiled 10 companies that are changing the way we eat.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com

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