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small business briefing

Joel Pinel, owner of Wow Factor Media.

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz.

The turning point rewarded

The owner of Moose Jaw, Sask.-based Wow Factor Media has won the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award and the $100,000 prize that accompanies it. Participants were asked to shoot video of themselves describing a turning-point moment for their businesses and how they planned to improve their fortunes. Nine finalists had made it to the online voting component of the contest.

Joel Pinel called the announcement "massive" for his business, which produces marketing campaigns, print products and signs, with sales offices in Saskatoon and Regina, and representatives in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Mr. Pinel says in a press release that he will use the $100,000 to appeal to the building market by buying new equipment to manufacture custom-made signs for high rises.

"This means we will be able to increase revenues and reduce costs while maintaining full control of the production process and keeping our customers happy."

Max Jenke of Endeavor Design in Vancouver was named runner-up, and will receive $25,000 worth of consulting services from BDC.

Four ways to help young entrepreneurs

More than 400 entrepreneurs, including 18 Canadians, took part in the fourth annual summit of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance from June 15 to 17 in Moscow. The alliance, according to a press release, is "calling on government and business to harness the potential of young entrepreneurs to create jobs, economic growth and competiveness, and to spur innovation and social change." The summit communiqué outlines four ways to help make this happen:

  • Increase access to finance and financial products and services for startups.
  • Ensure that labour, immigration and other regulations and laws are transparent and easily understood, and that they support rather than hinder entrepreneurs.
  • Invest in educational and other programs to equip young people with the knowledge and skills they can use to build businesses and create innovation, growth and prosperity.
  • Provide the digital infrastructure and services young entrepreneurs need to access government services and to build local and international networks.

E-book takes off

Freshbooks co-founder and CEO Mike McDerment, in a recent blog post, describes how he collaborated with the company's small-business writer, Donald Cowper, to talk about his philosophy for pricing and positioning services. An e-book, Breaking the Time Barrier, now available for free download, was the end result of those discussions. Mr. McDerment, whose company provides cloud-based accounting solutions for small businesses, says he hopes that "once you have read this book you will find it so valuable you will WANT to pay for it to recognize its value." Tens of thousands of copies have been downloaded, and the book has received several positive reviews from well-known business authors Tim Ferriss, Michael Gerber and Daniel Pink.


Who will be the Next 36?

The second webisode of the six-part online video series Becoming...The Next 36 has been released. The series chronicles last year's National Selection Weekend, and this episode focuses on the 70 finalists arriving in Toronto, a keynote by Michael Lee-Chin, speed networking, one-on-one interviews, and the beginning of late-night deliberations by The Next 36 selection committee.

New York beckons

The CTA@NYC is recruiting the next six founders to join the Canadian Technology Accelerator in New York from Sept. 4 to Dec. 3, 2013. Selected participants receive communal membership at New York's General Assembly for one founder, a three-day orientation program with access to mentors, and business and investor contacts, and a two-day mid-term program with additional mentoring opportunities and participation in a Demo Day at AppNexus. You have until July 4 at midnight to apply.


Go small when you get too big

The technology giants that rule their industry – from Apple to Google, Twitter to Facebook – were once lean startups, making bold decisions that helped shape their identities. As they became multinational corporations, elements of the entrepreneurial spirit were diminished, a trend many companies are trying to reverse by hiring entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs).


Three ways to get started

How are today's entrepreneurs finding their niche and preparing for tomorrow's big idea? Working for a start-up company, surrounding yourself with innovative business founders, and engaging in one of the many entrepreneurship programs in Canada are three ways to set the foundation, guest columnist Dave Wilkin wrote in July, 2010.

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