All entries must be received by August 22, 2017. The winners in each category will be announced during Canadian Small Business Month in October. Please review the Rules & Regulations before entering.
Keep these tips in mind when writing your Entrepreneur of the Year awards submission to help your story stand out among the crowd:
Yossef Vidal (watchvendor)
Yossef and his wife Shoshana started selling cell phones on eBay, but quickly added watches to their inventory after research showed they were in high demand with limited competition. He and Shoshana quickly expanded their offerings to include name-brand jewellery, sunglasses, and handbags. Since 2013, they have more than doubled their yearly sales and have brought on three full-time employees to help them keep up with increased demand for their products. To date, their cumulative sales have amounted to more than $10 million.
Nadia Shuaib (budget_electronics)
Nadia started Budget Electronics as a cell phone accessories wholesale business out of her apartment in 2014, primarily selling inventory to local retailers. Since she began selling on eBay, she has grown her product portfolio by more than ten times, and has opened a 3,500 ft2 warehouse that also functions as a brick-and-mortar store. To date, her online sales have grown on average of more than 1,000 percent year over year, and she is projecting sales upward of $1 million in 2017.
Adrien Lavoie (boardshopw)
In 2011, Adrien started his business in the basement of his parents' house selling skateboard-related merchandise. He began selling online through eBay and quickly saw success, allowing him to build a 2,100 ft 2 brick-and-mortar store. Since then, Adrien has evolved his business to focus on sneakers. Selling globally is the key to Adrien's success: 90 percent of his sales are from outside of Canada, and he regularly ships items to more than 45 countries. To date, he has sold more than $1 million worth of shoes and apparel on eBay, and his year over year sales continue to double.
Christine Deslauriers (Boutique Step Up)
Blezard Valley, Ontario
Christine Deslauriers combined her passion for figure skating with her entrepreneurial drive to build a successful business. She started selling skating gear and apparel on eBay eight years ago, and due to her quick success, was able to open a bricks-and-mortar store two years later. Christine now operates a thriving multi-channel business, with online sales increasing by 470 percent since her first year of operation. As a result of her strong online sales, Christine has expanded her offerings to include gymnastics, dance and sports swimwear products, giving her physical store a reputation for having an impressive inventory selection.
Kimberley Wotherspoon (Lumbermart)
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Kimberley?s "intrapreneurial" spirit highlights a growing sector of SMEs utilizing eBay's ecommerce platform to reach a global audience. Kimberley was hired to build Lumbermart's online business, and within her first year on the job, she increased daily sales by more than 900 percent. Today, Lumbermart is shipping items around the world, with more than 60 per cent of shipments being exported to countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Italy and France. By bringing a 'traditional' bricks-and-mortar store online, Kimberley has helped Lumbermart stay competitive even as big box retailers have started to move in to the local market.
Vanessa Szabo (Canadian Silver Coin Exchange)
Kamloops, British Columbia
Vanessa has always had a passion for the historical significance of Canadian coins. Ten years ago, she started casually selling a variety of items on eBay as a way to make an income while staying at home with her young children. Once her children were older, she took her business to the next level by increasing her online sales efforts while also opening a bricks-and-mortar store offering precious metals. Almost 30 percent of Vanessa?s buyers are repeat customers and she hosts an average of 150 auctions per month, a figure that has increased 47 percent over the past 6 months.