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Every growth story has a plot twist, but the savviest entrepreneurs thrive on a challenge. The Globe and Mail's Report on Small Business, in the fourth annual Challenge Contest sponsored by Telus Corp., asked Canada's entrepreneurs to tell us about the biggest challenges their businesses are facing, and how a $100,000 boost would help overcome them.
The Challenge Contest is an opportunity for Canada's brightest small business owners to tell their story – and to showcase their unique ideas to solve the problems they face.
Our panel of business experts reviewed every entry and narrowed them down to four semi-finalists. The winner, to be named in September, will be awarded a $100,000 business grant from Telus. The company will also be featured in the pages of Report on Business.
What would you do with $100,000?
If you want to win the $100,000 Challenge contest, “it’s going to take a bit of work,’ says Sean Stanleigh of the Report on Small Business. In this video, he explains how business owners can compete for $100,000 in the Challenge contest.
Manure processor comes out smelling like a rose – 2013 winner
Global opportunities have long been out of reach for Livestock Water Recycling Inc., a Calgary company that makes cost-efficient and environmentally friendly systems for treating hog and cow manure.
The 23-year-old enterprise has had to turn down inquiries from farmers around the world because it lacks the commercial-grade lab needed to satisfy government rules for importing livestock manure.
But that’s changed, thanks to a $100,000 windfall.
Livestock Water Recycling has won the top spot, and a $100,000 cash prize, in the Small Business Challenge contest sponsored by Telus Corp. and The Globe and Mail. The company was among four semi-finalists chosen from more than 1,000 entries. Learn more about the company here.
Fire-resistant glass gets even tougher with $100,000 boost – 2012 winner
Every year, Rob Botman and Jordan Richards, co-owners of Toronto-based Glassopolis Inc., fly to Las Vegas to attend the Glass Build America show. In 2012, they were more excited than ever to hit one of the largest glass-industry trade shows.
Why? They headed to the show $100,000 richer, thanks to Glassopolis’s first-place finish in the Challenge contest sponsored by Telus Corp. and The Globe and Mail.
The company, a seller and distributor of fire-resistant glass, beat out 1,200-plus other entrants to win this year’s contest, which asked companies to explain the biggest challenge their business faces today, and how a $100,000 grant would help them overcome it. The number of entrants was almost double the year before.
Cash infusion brings 'the enthusiasm back' – 2011 winner
If the people at Down to Earth Labs Inc. seem to be strutting these days, that’s because they are. Almost two years after the Lethbridge, Alta., soil- and feed-testing company won the Challenge Contest sponsored by The Globe and Mail and Telus Corp., managers and staff are still feeling the pride of working in a winning enterprise.
“The fact that we were chosen out of hundreds of contestants was so amazing – it gave everyone in the company this whole new confidence and energy,” says Angela Quinton, co-owner of Down to Earth Labs, formerly Sandberg Labs. “And of course, winning the $100,000 prize money has made a huge difference in our business.”