Ernst & Young honours Ontario finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011
(Toronto, 7 July 2011) Entrepreneurs are poised to drive the next major wave of economic growth, but the wider community must do more to support these creative-minded innovators, Ernst & Young said today when revealing this year’s finalists for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®.
“Businesses — and countries — don’t grow by standing still,” explains Colleen McMorrow, National and Ontario Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “Entrepreneurial thinking empowers companies to generate new jobs, open new doors and seize new opportunities. But stakeholders — from governments to businesses to academia — must now work together to create a truly entrepreneurial ecosystem where creative-minded businesses can thrive.”
In a new global survey of entrepreneurs — Nature or nurture? Decoding the DNA of the entrepreneur — Ernst & Young uncovered that funding, people and know-how were the biggest barriers to entrepreneurial success. Among the six out of 10 respondents who experienced obstacles in their ventures, 33% called lack of funding or finance their biggest stumbling block.
McMorrow says that’s only the first issue. Entrepreneurs need improved access to credit in addition to new educational opportunities and less red tape. She also underlined better leadership from Corporate Canada, which stands to gain by building an internal spirit of entrepreneurship — or intrapreneurship — into their business model to promote innovation, creativity and fresh thinking.
“By establishing that kind of ecosystem, we can unleash limitless entrepreneurial potential,” adds McMorrow. “Entrepreneurs see opportunity where others see disruption. Even the financial crisis generated opportunities for those willing to seize them, and that bolsters the economy. But governments and corporations must renew their focus on this area to adequately support entrepreneurs.”
In April, an Ernst & Young/Financial Post survey found more than one-third of entrepreneur respondents were more optimistic about their company’s future prospects than they were just six months ago. McMorrow says that’s a positive step in the right direction.
“Entrepreneurs have not forgotten the lessons learned in leaner times. But they’re ready to look forward, and continue building on what they’ve already accomplished. With the right support from the broader community, entrepreneurs will continue to energize the economy in the months and years ahead,” says McMorrow.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards celebrate the contribution and spirit of entrepreneurs everywhere. The Canadian program is in its 18th year of honouring the country’s most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award winners are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.
The Ontario winners will be announced at a banquet on November 2, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet held in Toronto on
The 2011 Ontario finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:
Business-to-business products and services
I Love Rewards l Toronto
An employee-recognition solution that helps companies drive performance. Unlike traditional service award programs, it creates authentic moments of recognition that resonate with a multigenerational workforce.
Jennifer Nashmi, Victoria Sopik
Kids and Company Ltd. l Vaughan
A unique corporate-sponsored child-care company that offers guaranteed full-time, part-time and emergency backup and elder-care services to progressive family-oriented corporations.
Christopher Barnard, Rob MacLean
Points International Ltd. l Toronto
Has developed a proprietary technology platform of products and services designed to create value for loyalty programs and loyalty program participants alike.
Real Food for Real Kids Inc. l Toronto
Buys raw ingredients from all-natural, mainly local sources and transforms them into delicious, nutritious hot meals and snacks for kids in daycares and elementary schools across the Greater Toronto Area.
Business-to-consumer products and services
Canada Goose l Toronto
Manufactures the world’s best-quality outerwear, all made in Canada. In its 50+ years of manufacturing in Canada, the company has become an iconic, premier, premium, global brand.
Jeffrey Byunghun Min
Galleria Supermarket & Korea Food Trading l Vaughan
A wholesale supply business that imports Korean and Asian food products.
Standard Innovation Corporation l Ottawa
The most popular rechargeable vibrator for couples in the world, with over a million people using it to inject more fun and intimacy into their loving relationships.
David Kroetsch, Dr. Michael Peasgood
Aeryon Labs Inc. l Waterloo
Designs and manufactures small unmanned aerial vehicle systems for aerial sensing applications.
Polar Mobile l Toronto
Enables world-class media companies to extend their brand and content to mobile through a scalable software platform.
Redragon Oil & Gas Systems International Inc. l Cambridge
Canadian manufacturer of custom-engineered solutions for the utility and recycling industrial sectors globally, with distributors and agents on every continent.
Shashi Foods l Vaughan
A family-owned business focusing on making a product that reflects the finest raw ingredients available around the world. Shashi buys from farms that they have personally visited to ensure they maintain their high standards.
Media and entertainment
Comweb Group/William F. White International Inc. l Toronto
A group of integrated entertainment firms dedicated to providing production-related services, studio facilities and equipment to the film and television industry.
Mood Media Corporation l Toronto
A leading in-store media specialist. Using music, visual and scent media, the company creates and delivers memorable consumer experiences that increase loyalty, create brand differentiation and maximize point-of-sale revenues.
Shaftesbury Films Inc. l Toronto
Founded in 1987, Shaftesbury is one of Canada’s leading creators, producers and distributors of original content for television and multiple platforms, with programming available in more than 120 countries worldwide.
exp Global Inc. (formerly Trow Global) l Brampton
Engineering, project management, environment and urban planning.
Dr. Robert Francis, Shaun Francis
Medcan Clinic l Toronto
A private health-care clinic owned by a father–son team, which provides leading preventive medicine combined with five-star client service. Medcan detects disease in its early stage to allow early intervention, resulting in healthier outcomes.
SIMAC Canada Inc. l Richmond Hill
A privately owned Canadian company established in 2001 to provide the insurance industry, employers and legal representatives with credible, unbiased and evidenced-based independent medical assessment reports.
Claridge Homes Group of Companies l Ottawa
Ottawa’s leading residential builder, building nearly 700 homes and condominiums each year. Claridge has also developed commercial projects and retirement homes.
First Canadian Title l Oakville
Provides a variety of real estate-related products and services, principally title insurance.
Dr. Ronald Schlegel
RBJ Schlegel Holdings Inc. l Kitchener
Encompasses five divisions: Schlegel Villages, Homewood Health Centre, Homewood Human Solutions, Schlegel Urban Developments and Farming.
Dominion Voting Systems Corporation l Toronto
Develops knowledge-based proprietary solutions and services for the elections industry, and markets, sells and licenses them to domestic international markets.
Dr. Sankar DasGupta
Electrovaya l Mississauga
Designs, develops and manufactures proprietary lithium ion superpolymer batteries, battery systems and battery-related products.
Liqui-Force Group of Companies l Kingsville
A leader in state-of-the-art, no-dig, trenchless pipeline rehabilitation for the clean-water, waste-water and other pipeline sectors.
Ross Video Ltd. l Ottawa
Has a product line consisting of video production switchers, terminal equipment, video servers, production control systems, routing systems and character generators.
Benbria l Ottawa
A leading provider of intelligent notification solutions. Delivers an award-winning, next-generation notification solution that enables organizations to improve revenue, reduce costs, increase performance and enhance customer loyalty.
Freshii l Toronto
A “Lettuce Eatery” devoted 100% to making a salad just the way you like it. Choose your greens, your toppings, your toppings’ toppings and, of course, your dressing.
Oliberté Footwear l Oakville
Wholesaler, retailer and manufacturer of premium leather foorwear made in Africa.
Special citation – Social entrepreneur
This special citation is a unique category among the awards. It’s given in recognition of an entrepreneur whose achievements have driven large-scale social change and improved people’s lives or quality of life.
Students Offering Support (SOS) l Waterloo
A social venture that supports chapters residing within universities across North America. Each chapter runs Exam-AID review sessions, taught by volunteers funding education projects in developing nations.
About Entrepreneur of The Year
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards honour the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel, which is composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The 2011 Ontario region judging panel consisted of Andrew Bergstrom, Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Cossette Communications Inc; Ginny Dybenko, Executive - Strategic Initiatives, Wilfrid Laurier University; Andrew Claerhout, Vice-President, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; Don Morrison, Senior Managing Director and Country Head, OMERS Private Equity; Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, Chief Executive Officer, MaRS Discovery District; David R. Shaw, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Knightsbridge Human Capital Management Inc., 2010 Ontario Award recipient for the Professional/financial services category and 2010 National special citation recipient for Customer Driven Excellence.
For more information on the program, FAQs, and key dates please visit ey.com/ca/EOY.
This year’s national program sponsors are National Post, La Presse and RDI.
About Ernst & Young LLP’s Entrepreneurial Services practice
Ernst & Young LLP’s Entrepreneurial Services practice serves Canada’s entrepreneurs by delivering integrated business advisory services in assurance, tax, transactions, and advisory services to help them drive growth and create value. Our team of professionals has a track record of focusing on the issues and needs of companies as they grow from early stage to become market leaders. Ernst & Young has long worked with and celebrated the achievements of Canadian men and women who create the products, services and jobs that propel Canada’s economy and communities forward. For more information, please visit ey.com/ca/Entrepreneurs.
About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 141,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.