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McGuinty Government Rewards Ontario's Future Business Leaders Across the Province

November 18, 2006

NORTH BAY- The McGuinty government announced the winners of Ontario's fifth annual Secondary School Business Plan Competition today at ceremonies held in North Bay, Cornwall, Burlington and London.

"Young entrepreneurs like today's winners are going to be the engine driving Ontario's economy in the future," said Nipissing MPP Monique Smith. "I'm pleased to see that so many young people in the north are benefiting from the business plan program, and furthering their entrepreneurial skill sets. My congratulations go out to all of the programs participants."

Brandon Olson of Emo was the regional winner from northern Ontario and the first runner-up in the provincial competition, earning $2,000. Dustin Bradley of Sudbury was runner-up in the regional competition, taking home $750 in educational bursaries, while Sarah Fortais of Sault Ste. Marie took third-place regional honours, earning $500.

Tori Crawford of Sarnia was the overall provincial winner, receiving $2,500 in educational bursaries for her first-place finishes in both the provincial and western regional competitions.

"If all of our future business leaders have the same dedication, commitment and drive as the winners of this year's competition, the future of Ontario's economy looks very bright," Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Harinder Takhar said. "The McGuinty government and its partners understand very well the challenges of running a business in the global marketplace. It's our goal to provide our youth with the opportunity to develop the essential business skills they need to lead our businesses on the world stage for years to come."

As part of the Ontario government's initiative to promote youth entrepreneurship, 38 Small Business Enterprise Centres in Ontario worked with 178 secondary schools across the province to coordinate the local business plan competitions. Students also have the opportunity to implement their business plan through Ontario's Summer Company program, which will be open for applications on November 19, 2006.

For more information:

Stephanie Nadalin
Minister's Office
(416) 326-1939

David Bauer
Communications and Public Affairs
(416) 325-0716