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Photos: Our favourite small businesses of 2013

E-commerce, manure treatment, backpacks and 3-D printed jewellery. These are just a selection of the year's most memorable companies of the year, as chosen by the editors of the Report on Small Business

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SHOPIFY. Ottawa e-commerce software company has become the country’s first Internet startup since the dot-com crash to reach a billion-dollar valuation, thanks to one of the largest venture financings in Canadian history.

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HERSCHEL. The Vancouver backpack company made a name as a fashion brand for young adults but mass-market selling requires careful steps.

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THALMIC LABS. Since announcing Myo last February, Mr. Lake and his co-founders – Matthew Bailey and Aaron Grant – have received overwhelming response. Since June 2013, the Kitchener-based company raised $14.5-million.

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HOT POP FACTORY. The Toronto design firm specializes in the creative applications of 3D printing

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ALTERRUS SYSTEMS INC. In this video, Christopher Ng, CEO of Alterrus, explains how VertiCrop technology - a moving conveyor system - can turn a vacant parking lot (like this one in downtown Vancouver) into a fully functional agricultural farm yielding local green vegetables.

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LIVESTOCK WATER RECYCLING. The Calgary company, which processes manure into nutrients and drinkable water, comes out on top among the semi-finalists for the Small Business Challenge contest.

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KEYCAFE. Devising a workable system to exchange keys at a neighbourhood café may be a tall order, but the Vancouver startup’s approach may be the perfect solution.

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ENTERRA FEED CORPORATION. The Vancouver-based company makes creates sustainable animal feed ingredients and concentrated natural fertilizer for food production. The idea for the company was sparked during a conversation between the company’s founder and David Suzuki.

File photo

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KNIX WEAR. The Toronto-based lingerie company specializes in women's underwear, and their products are sold in Hudson Bay’s stores across Canada.

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WATTPAD. Each month, the Toronto company has 20 million unique visitors who collectively spend 5 billion minutes on the site, which he says is more time than people spend in public libraries in the entire U.S. The company’s co-founders have figured out how to provide value for readers and writers to keep them coming back, and in huge numbers.

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ZANIS & CO. Steve Arnold has made a career out of tracking, dealing and collecting debris from outer space. He even scored his own TV show, Meteorite Men, on Discovery Science. His latest entrepreneurial endeavour includes a partnership with Zanis & Co., a jewellery and watch business.

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BUDDY BELTS. When her dachshund choked on a traditional collar, Roxanne Pettipas came up with a shoulder-hugging design that distributed pressure more evenly

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TOP HAT MONOCLE. Instead of convincing universities to take a chance on its classroom engagement platform, Top Hat Monocle earned top grades by bringing professors and students onside

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