Small Business Month celebrations kicked off at the B.C. legislature today with the launch of a new award to recognize young entrepreneurs, and the release of the Small Business Roundtable’s annual report.
The new Celebrate Entrepreneurship Award – launched in partnership with Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC) – will recognize the student-led company that demonstrates the most innovation in their business. The winning company and recipient of a $3,000 cash prize will be announced at JABC’s awards ceremony in June 2016.
The Small Business Roundtable’s tenth annual report highlights a decade of accomplishments and upcoming priorities. The roundtable was established in 2005 to engage in a dialogue with small business owners to identify the key issues and opportunities they face. Priorities identified for the next year include:
- high-speed Internet access for all small businesses in B.C.;
- participation in locally driven Business Walks;
- support for the Small Business Awareness Strategy; and
- promoting succession planning.
Small Business Month offers opportunities for small business owners and operators to network, develop and share business ideas, and learn about government programs and resources. Celebrations will be taking place throughout B.C. for the entire month of October.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –
“Today marks the first day of Small Business Month in B.C. and I’m excited to recognize and celebrate the contribution of small businesses throughout the province. Helping to kick off a month of events is the launch of Junior Achievement B.C.’s new Celebrate Entrepreneurship Award. Innovation is the backbone of many successful small businesses and I’m thrilled that this award will recognize the accomplishments of our youth entrepreneurs.
“I would like to thank the members of the Small Business Roundtable for helping government create a strong support system for small businesses over the past ten years. I’m looking forward to working closely with the roundtable to implement the recommendations made in this year’s annual report. Through strong collaboration and a common goal, we can help to ensure small businesses continue to grow and thrive.”
Jan Bell-Irving, JABC president –
“With the creation of the Celebrating Entrepreneurship Award, Junior Achievement will be able to attract more student involvement in our business education programs that ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in our youth and teach them practical skills needed to develop viable business ventures. We are honoured and grateful for the support of the ministry in helping us deliver more education opportunities to our youth to build leaders of tomorrow.”
Cybele Negris, CEO and co-founder of Webnames.ca Inc., vice-chair, Small Business Roundtable –
“A lot has been accomplished by the Small Business Roundtable over the past decade and the 10th Annual Report highlights many of the initiatives that have supported the small business community. There’s more work to be done to continue to improve the small business climate in British Columbia and recommendations to both government and small businesses are included in the report. Please read the report to see how you can help and provide your feedback to the Small Business Roundtable.”
- For over 60 years, JABC has been a part of an international non-profit organization that delivers business training programs through partnerships with local schools together with individual volunteers from local business communities and has been teaching work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy in B.C.
- The Province has contributed $5 million to JABC since 2006.
- The B.C. government created a permanent Small Business Roundtable in 2005, giving small businesses a voice in government.
- Roundtable board members are recognized as leaders in their community and represent all regions of the province.
- 98% of B.C. businesses are classified as small businesses.
- Small businesses also account for almost 86% of all provincial exporters, impacting every sector of the BC Jobs Plan.
- Small business is defined as a business with fewer than 50 employees, or self-employed without paid help.
Junior Achievement British Columbia: http://british-columbia.jacan.org/
Small Business Roundtable: www.smallbusinessroundtable.ca/Home.aspx
Small Business Roundtable Annual Report: https://www.smallbusinessroundtable.ca/sm_busi_roundtable/media/images/Annual%20Reports/SB-Roundtable-Sept2015-web.pdf
Small Business Resources: www.resourcecentre.gov.bc.ca/pdf/Small_Business_Resource_Handout.pdf