Award Encourages Young Innovators

Government is offering students an opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills and receive $1,000 to help turn their business ideas into reality.

The Minister’s Entrepreneurship Award of Excellence is open to students in grades six to 12.

Last year, Leilia and Angus Fraser, co-founders of Beaver Sticks, won in the Social Enterprise category for turning discarded trees and branches into high quality, affordable and environmentally friendly walking sticks.

At the time Leilia was in Grade 9 and Angus in Grade 7 at Halifax Central Junior High.

“The event was a great learning experience,” said Leilia. “We learned a lot about how customers are grouped and how to determine our target market.”

Since winning the prize, they have introduced their product into a couple of reseller locations and hope to further develop this side of their business.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is something that students will benefit from no matter where their career path takes them,” said Zach Churchill Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “I am excited to work with schools and our business community to develop and support Nova Scotia’s next generation of entrepreneurs.”

The province partners with the Business Education Council to deliver the award.

“The ideas presented by the young entrepreneurs last year were amazing,” said Cal Gosse, chair of the council. “We are looking forward to what this year will bring.”

Three awards will be given to students that exhibit entrepreneurial pursuits in technology, innovation and creation and social change. Students can apply online individually or as a small group by submitting an application that includes a budget and a pitch deck, video or business plan, to be considered by members of the Business Education Council. Three finalists in each category will move on to a pitch competition held in the spring.

The three winners will be awarded $1,000 each and the opportunity to work with a mentor to advance their business.

The application deadline is Feb. 28. To apply, visit .