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Registration open for first-annual ‘NextIslandpreneur’ student business competition

Competition offers mentors, iPads, seed money, cash prizes to young entrepreneurs on Haida Gwaii
FILE - Haida Gwaii Community Futures offices are pictured in this file photo. Registration is open for the first-annual “NextIslandpreneur” student business competition, set to run from Friday, July 17, 2020 to Aug. 21. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)

There is still time to register for the first-annual “NextIslandpreneur” student business competition on Haida Gwaii, inspired by the Dragons’ Den reality show.

Haida Gwaii Community Futures announced the competition on July 3 for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 to 29 years old.

The competition will run from July 17 to Aug. 21, beginning with a few days of entrepreneurial training with Fraser Earl of Haida Owned and Operated, as well as a mentor who will be hired to work with participants as they brainstorm and develop their fledgling businesses.

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Community Futures general manager Mike Racz said participants will be given iPads to help implement their innovative ideas, as well as the option to borrow $1,000 in seed money.

“That helps them operate their business for 45 days and then they pay that back like they would a regular loan,” he said.

Participants will also have an opportunity to make a pitch to the panel of judges, which may include representatives from sponsors, including the Husby Group, A&A Trading, Taan Forest and Community Futures.

“If we get good ideas, there are opportunities to bring those ideas to fruition,” Racz said.

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Participants who successfully complete the program will be allowed to keep their iPads and the top concepts will be awarded with cash prizes.

The grand prize for the best business pitch will be $2,500, second place will be $1,000 and third place will be $500.

Individual youth are encouraged to apply, as are teams of up to five. A maximum of 16 youth participants will be chosen.

To register, contact with the subject line “#NextIslandpreneur”.

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