CST: 26/06/2016 05:08:11   

TELUS Awarding More Than $150,000 to Help Canadian Entrepreneurs Take Their Business to the Next Level

96 Days ago

Thousands of small businesses from across Canada expected to compete in the sixth annual Small Business Challenge

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Mar 21, 2016) - (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) - Today, TELUS and The Globe and Mail announced the return of the Small Business Challenge, an annual event that shines a spotlight on Canada's small business community and helps companies overcome their obstacles to reach extraordinary heights. The contest invites entrepreneurs to submit their biggest business challenge and propose an innovative solution for a chance to win a grand prize of $100,000.

"From creating jobs to generating economic growth, small businesses are doing big things for Canada," said Suzanne Trusdale, vice-president of Small Business Solutions at TELUS. "TELUS is passionate about supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and helping small businesses thrive. The Small Business Challenge helps businesses overcome their biggest hurdles and fast-tracks their growth, and year after year this contest is creating incredible Canadian small business success stories."

Last year, TELUS received more than 3,300 entries from some of Canada's best and brightest entrepreneurs. In the end, the judges selected AquaMobile to take home the $100,000 grand prize. Based in Toronto, AquaMobile connects local accredited swim instructors with clients through an innovative web platform. Since winning last year's contest, AquamMobile's revenues have doubled and it's now North America's largest at-home, on-demand swim instruction company.

Prior to winning The Small Business Challenge, AquaMobile had secured a deal on Dragons' Den where Diana Goodwin, founder and CEO of Aquamobile, was offered $200,000 by Jim Treliving in exchange for 10 per cent equity in her company. After her big win, AquaMobile decided to pass on the deal.

"Winning The Small Business Challenge changed the game," said Goodwin.

Other previous Small Business Challenge winners are also thriving at home and abroad.

Vancouver Island Salt Co. is one of Canada's first commercial harvesters and makers of artisanal sea salt and a huge proponent of sustainable business. This B.C. company used its award money from the 2014 Small Business Challenge to hire new staff and double its production. The company quickly expanded its distribution across North American and just recently entered its first markets in Asia.

• Global opportunities seemed out of reach for Livestock Water Recycling Inc., a Calgary company that makes environmentally friendly systems to create clean drinking water from manure, but that changed after winning the 2013 contest. Winning the Small Business Challenge garnered the company tremendous exposure and rapidly spread the word about their innovative approach to making the livestock industry greener. Revenues have doubled every year since their win and they are becoming recognized as a world leader in their space.

It's not just the finalist who wins big - an additional 68 businesses will receive cash, technology and marketing services, as well as coverage in The Globe and Mail, to help build brand awareness and attract new customers and investors. In addition to the $100,000 grand prize:

  • Four runners up will receive $10,000 plus a TELUS technology pack valued at $2,000
  • Three "most promising start-ups" will be selected to receive $5,000 worth of mentoring and marketing services from Agency 59 - TELUS Small Business Solutions' advertising and design agency
  • 10 regional winners will receive a TELUS prize package with an estimated value of $1,500
  • 50 honourable mentions will be featured in The Globe and Mail
  • This year, for the first time, one small business owner will receive $10,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. To underscore the role that small businesses can play in building stronger communities, a panel of TELUS Community Investment team members will select a business that shares TELUS' philanthropic approach to business.

From now until May 31, small businesses are invited to submit their biggest business challenge and explain how they would use $100,000 to help them overcome it. Five semi-finalists will pitch to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and small business experts in Toronto on June 29 and the winner will be announced on September 22.

For full contest details and to enter, please visit telus.com/thechallenge.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12.5 billion of annual revenue and 12.5 million customer connections, including 8.5 million wireless subscribers, 1.5 million residential network access lines, 1.6 million high-speed Internet subscribers and 1.0 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $440 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 6.8 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS' 11 Canadian community boards and 4 International boards have led the Company's support of grassroots charities and have contributed more than $54 million in support of over 4,900 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

Ryan Bazeley
TELUS Media Relations
604-230-3268
ryan.bazeley@telus.com