Meghann Patterson, Marcie LeBlanc and Reid Skelton-Morven were three finalists in the ThriveNorth Business Challenge 2017 with Prince Rupert businesses. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Province gives more than $348,000 to support ThriveNorth

Northern entrepreneur competition looks to expand in its fourth year

The province announced a $348,300 boost from its rural dividend fund to support young entreprenuers in the ThriveNorth program.

For the past three years, Futurepreneur Canada, a non-profit, has held the ThriveNorth competition for budding business owners from ages 18 to 39 years. Throughout the competition entreprenuers receive mentoring and winners can receive up to $10,000 to support their business project.

“We are thrilled for B.C. government’s contribution to ThriveNorth. In its fourth year, this program has helped support over 260 young entrepreneurs in their business journey, has launched over 68 new businesses and created over 79 jobs in the community.

“Thanks to the new funds received, we will be able to continue our work in Northwest B.C., as well as expand to Northeast B.C. We will grow our entrepreneurial training programs, enable more entrepreneurs to receive financing and mentorship and elevate new businesses through the annual Business Challenge,” said Paulina Cameron, the regional director for B.C and the Yukon.

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“Futurpreneur Canada’s training and mentorship empowers Indigenous youth in rural and northern communities to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. By funding programs for young people, our government is ensuring B.C.’s economy remains prosperous for all British Columbians now and into the future,” said Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston in the press release.

ThriveNorth supports entrepreneurs in northern B.C., partnering with Lax Kw’alaams Band, Nisga’a Lisims Government, Northern Savings Credit Union, Northwest Community College and the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures (Terrace), the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce and the District of Kitimat.

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