Jump to region:     Pacific  |  Prairies  |  Ontario  |  Québec  |  Atlantic

Learn more about Canada’s national winners, judges and sponsors.

Meet the winners

Congratulations to Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 and to the ten National Award Winners. More than just a backbone, entrepreneurs are the gas pedal that can navigate change and accelerate growth.
Click the photos below to learn more about each of these unstoppable entrepreneurs.

Judi Hess

Judi Hess
Copperleaf (TSX:CPLF)

Rizwan Somji

Rizwan Somji
Cymax Group Technologies

Clay Purdy

Clay Purdy
Fluid Energy Group Ltd.

Geoffrey T. Martin

Geoffrey T. Martin
CCL Industries Inc. (TSX:CCL.B)

Bert Mucci

Bert Mucci
Mucci Farms

Louis Têtu

Louis Têtu
Coveo Solutions (TSX:CVO)

Madeleine Paquin

Madeleine Paquin
Logistec Corporation  (TSX:LGT.A)

John Williams

John Williams
Nutra Holdings

Congratulations to the regional winners of Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 program.


National judges

The success of the program relies on the efforts of our independent panel of judges. These past Entrepreneur Of The Year Award recipients and civic and community leaders devote significant effort to review and deliberate the merits of each nominee. We deeply appreciate their dedication to this process.
EY - Photo of Denis Larocque

Denis Larocque
Major Drilling Group International Inc.
President & CEO

How does entrepreneurial ambition help create global unity?
Lots of times, entrepreneurs are born from finding a creative solution to a problem we all face, and with globalization, we have seen a lot of solutions to world problems come from entrepreneurial ambitions.

EY - Photo of Kristi Miller

Arlene Dickinson*

What role do entrepreneurs play in helping Canada reach an innovation economy?
It is no secret that Canada is a country rich in raw ingredients. From natural gas to precious metals, full potential can only be reached when talented individuals turn them into products or find alternate uses. To that end, entrepreneurs are the most important element of the Canadian economy. When an entrepreneur creates a successful business, they generate incremental wealth for the country, which contributes to the tax base and helps fund social programs we as Canadians hold so dear. These programs, in turn, create a strong education system that produces world-class engineers, scientists, and businesspeople who push potential and create innovation in their respective fields.

EY - Photo of Germain Lamonde

Germain Lamonde*
Founder & Executive Chairman

Could the toughest times inspire the greatest solutions?
Challenges & tough times might “break” some… but it “makes” true entrepreneurs by bringing heightened motivation, creativity, and teamwork.

EY - Photo of Kim Mason

Kim Mason
Private Banking, RBC Wealth Management
Royal Bank of Canada, Senior Vice President & Head

Could the toughest times inspire the greatest solutions?
The toughest times spark innovation – and they need to.  With entrepreneurs in close proximity, those sparks of innovation become the beginnings of new solutions – that then give birth to new business.

EY - Photo of Wes Hall

Wes Hall*
Kingsdale Advisors, The BlackNorth Initiative
Executive Chairman & Founder

How can we better enable diverse entrepreneurs to achieve scale and growth?
Diversity is key to prosperity. Diversity makes good business. However, entrepreneurs of the BIPOC community do not always get the tools they need to succeed. We also do not always get access to the capital we need in order to get started. BIPOC individuals would greatly benefit from mentorship – and that is why my team at BlackNorth work tirelessly to provide this service to individuals right here in our own communities. Generally speaking, the BIPOC community are viewed as a “risk” when thinking about investments or loans when in reality it should be looked like an opportunity. Leaders undisputedly need to start thinking differently.

EY - Photo of Linda McCurdy

Linda McCurdy*
K-Bro Linen Systems Inc. 
President & CEO

How has adversity of the pandemic been a springboard for growth?
Adversity during the pandemic has been a springboard for growth by accelerating existing trends. For companies that held a strong leadership position before the pandemic, my experience is that this position has been further strengthened as a result. Conversely, the pandemic has posed an existential threat to many weaker industry players.

EY - Photo of Ali Pejman

Ali Pejman
Fort Capital Partners
Managing Partner

How will entrepreneurial ambition help regenerate economies?
Entrepreneurs are the drivers of the economy. Without their leadership, our economy goes nowhere.

EY - Photo of Chris Huskilson

Chris Huskilson

What do we need to do to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s reflective of the makeup of our economy?
We need to support and promote people to reach for their dreams and make sure we fill the gaps in our ecosystems to make this possible.

*Entrepreneur Of The Year Alumni

Meet the regional judges:  Pacific  |  Prairies  |  Ontario  |  Québec  |  Atlantic



National sponsors

Regional sponsors

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