Press release

14 Jun. 2021 Calgary, CA

Prairies entrepreneurs are diversifying business models to withstand tough market pressures

Finalists announced for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Prairies program

Press contact
Victoria McQueen

EY Canada Team Lead, Public Relations

Leading the development and distribution of external communications across Canada. Can be found by the lake in the summer and on the slopes in the winter.

Related topics Entrepreneur EY Private

Finalists announced for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Prairies program

Each year, EY recognizes unstoppable entrepreneurs across the country that are transforming our world through unbounded innovation, growth and prosperity. Today, judges named 33 businesses as finalists in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Prairies program. 

“Many entrepreneurs have risen above the challenges brought on by the last year and have taken a stand on the front lines to help propel the growth of their communities forward through recovery,” says Rob Jolley, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Co-Director. “Entrepreneurs will play a major role in shaping and rebuilding our economy, and this group makes me very confident about achieving future success.”

Consistent with the findings from the EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer, new vulnerabilities and unforeseen challenges brought on by the pandemic do not appear to be slowing these entrepreneurs down. Prairies finalists are a true representation of how dynamic the market is — with some players emerging in new industries, and others adapting services with the momentum created by the pandemic. 

“This year, we’re seeing the results of the diversification among the Prairies entrepreneurial landscape and changing tide of entrepreneurs leading businesses across new and existing sectors,” says Shane Dunn, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Co-Director. “This exciting list of finalists are creating innovative business models in new sectors to withstand tough market pressures in everything from software and healthcare, to cryptocurrency and cannabis.”

View the full list of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Prairies finalists

What’s next?

The independent panel of judges will select regional winners who will be announced in July. The winners will move forward to compete with winners from the Pacific, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic regions at the national awards celebration in November 2021, where 10 national winners will be named, including Canada’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Award winner. The overall Canadian winner will go on to compete with national winners from across the globe for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year in June 2022.

More information

Follow @EYCanada, #EOYCanada and #EOYPrairies on Twitter for the latest program updates. Visit for more program details.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year title.

The 2021 Prairies independent judging panel consists of Brenda Nowakowski, President of Brelin Holdings Ltd.; Mike Fata, CEO of Fata & Associates, Inc.; Linda McCurdy, President & CEO of K-Bro Linen Systems Inc.; James Boettcher, Chief Idea Officer, Custodian of Culture & CEO of Righteous Gelato; Desirée Bombenon, CEO & Chief Disruption Officer of SureCall; Ashif Mawji, Venture Partner and Angel Investor of Rising Tide; and Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates.

This year's national sponsor is TSX Inc. The Prairies regional sponsor is Canadian Western Bank.

– ends –

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit  Follow us on X @EYCanada.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP.