Campus Life  

OC SIFE Students Win Grant

Okanagan Valley youth gaining valuable entrepreneurial skills through
annual business competition

Kelowna, British Columbia (Thursday, March 1, 2012) - Okanagan College's
Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team has been selected to receive a
$2,500 grant from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to
support their local entrepreneurial efforts. The BDC SIFE Entrepreneurs
First! Project Fund provides SIFE teams with the means to accelerate the
success of Canadian entrepreneurs.

To earn the grant, the team developed a plan to enhance their existing
Young Entrepreneur Competition, a long-standing and established business
competition for local middle and high school students.

Building on the previous success of the program, the team has recruited
209 student participants and a record-breaking 77 teams. The grant from
BDC will provide participants with the necessary resources to create
prototypes of their products, and bring their businesses to the

"I am excited to work with this energetic and inspiring group of
students to put local entrepreneurs first and fuel our community's
economy," says Mark Willms, Account Manager, BDC and advisor to the SIFE
Okanagan team.

Statistics have shown that 50 per cent of participants in the Young
Entrepreneur Competition go on to start their own businesses. The event
will culminate in a trade show and awards dinner on May 31 at Okanagan
College where students will have the opportunity to showcase and sell
their products to community members in attendance and be recognized for
their achievements.

"We believe that by equipping Canadian youth with solid business skills,
we can build better communities, and ultimately a better Canada," says
Amy Harder, President, Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE), which
operates SIFE in Canada. "SIFE Okanagan is providing a unique
opportunity for students in the Okanagan Valley to learn about
entrepreneurship in a fun and innovative way."

Other schools participating in this year's BDC SIFE Entrepreneurs First!
Project Fund include Brandon University (Brandon, Manitoba), Concordia
University (Montreal, Quebec), Lakehead University (Thunder Bay,
Ontario), Saint Mary's University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and the
University of Windsor (Windsor, Ontario).

The Okanagan College team will be showcasing their Young Entrepreneur
Competition project, along with others at the ACE Regional Exposition
taking place on March 1 and 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia.


About ACE

Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a national, charitable
organization that is teaching and igniting young Canadians to create
brighter futures for themselves and their communities. By implementing
entrepreneurial projects and ventures with real impact, ACE students
make a meaningful contribution to their communities today, while also
discovering their potential to achieve an even greater impact as the
leaders of tomorrow. ACE delivers a team-based program called Students
In Free Enterprise (SIFE) and an individual-based program, Student
Entrepreneur. SIFE projects allow students to apply business concepts
learned in the classroom to develop and implement community outreach
projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for
people in need. The Student Entrepreneur program has been credited with
enhancing the success of students operating their own businesses,
creating jobs and encouraging economic growth.

In the past year alone, ACE students ran over 500 projects, created over
640 jobs, directly impacted over 94,500 people, logged 287,000 volunteer
hours and generated over $12,000,000 in economic opportunity. ACE is
currently established on 60 post-secondary campuses across Canada.

Visit www.acecanada.ca for more information.

About BDC

Canada's business development bank, BDC, puts entrepreneurs first. With
almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the
country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital
and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium-sized companies.
Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity.

Visit www.bdc.ca   for more information.

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