WELLINGTON – March 9, 2016 – RDÉE PEI, the Francophone economic development council of Prince Edward Island, has been running a competition for Acadian and Francophone entrepreneurs called The Dragons’ Contest over the past few months. The winner of the $10,000 first prize will be announced during the “Entrepreneurs’ Gala” this Saturday at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside.
Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), together with the Honourable Heath MacDonald, PEI Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, today announced total government funding of $42,500 to support the competition.
ACOA’s Business Development Program is contributing $40,000 to RDÉE PEI to support the skills development component of the competition. In addition to coaching to help participants prepare to pitch their business ideas to the “dragons,” the top finalists will receive additional guidance and mentoring from RDÉE PEI. The overall winner will receive a $10,000 investment to help grow their company. The prize is comprised of $2,500 from Innovation PEI, $1,000 from The Cooperators, $1,000 from RDÉE Canada and the remainder from RDÉE PEI.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the fundamental importance of supporting our minority official language communities across Canada. In Prince Edward Island, RDÉE provides leadership for Acadian and Francophone entrepreneurs and is inspiring tomorrow’s business leaders to bring their best ideas forward and have a lot of fun along the way,” said Morrissey.
“Encouraging entrepreneurship continues to be a high priority for this government and a key component of our economic growth. We are pleased – through Innovation PEI – to provide a portion of the prize as an incentive for young Acadian and Francophone Islanders to consider the path of entrepreneurship.” added MacDonald.
“We consider our Dragons’ Contest a great way to stimulate the development of new and innovative business ideas. We were extremely pleased that a combination of new and experienced entrepreneurs submitted 13 solid projects to our contest, » said Jeannette Arsenault, president of RDÉE PEI Inc. « Three of these projects – by Jérémie Arsenault of Charlottetown, Karine Gallant and Iain MacInnes of Summerside and Charlene Doherty of Abram-Village – made it all the way to the finals. Considering the amazing quality of their three final projects, we know for sure that the judges are going to have a hard time trying to determine which one should win. Whatever the outcome, we’re looking forward to working with the $10,000 winner as well as with any of the other contestants to help them establish their business.”
Acting Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Sheila Kerry, MBA, BPR
Senior Communications Officer
Workforce and Advanced Learning
Communications and Liaison Officer
902-854-3439, ext. 231