Canadian Mentorship Challenge Launches to Mentor 10,000 Entrepreneurs October 2, 2013 RICCentre Ottawa, ON (Wednesday, October 2, 2013) The Canadian Mentorship Challenge is a national initiative that aims to collectively mentor 10,000 enterprising Canadians over the course of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), November 18 – 24, 2013. Last year, Startup Canada launched the first Canadian Mentorship Challenge, partnering with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and CATAAlliance, to respond to a call to action from entrepreneurs to increase awareness about the value of mentors and the opportunities for mentorship. This year, the Challenge is being powered jointly by Startup Canada and CYBF to showcase how mentorship’s transfer of knowledge and ideas contributes to the success of startups and mobilizes communities of people to build systems that create profit and prosperity for all. “Canada has been recognized as one of the top countries for entrepreneurs and the overwhelmingly positive response we received from participants in last year’s challenge reaffirms the value of mentorship to entrepreneurs,” said Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder of Startup Canada. “Small businesses are an integral part of the Canadian economy and we need to ensure that we are continuing to equip Canadian entrepreneurs with the tools needed to succeed.” “Good mentors are often the key to small business success, which is why mentoring is a core component of our program to help young people launch startups,” said Julia Deans, CEO of CYBF. “Mentors give tangible, experience-based business advice, support and encouragement to help entrepreneurs through the realities of starting and sustaining a business.” This year’s Challenge will kick off GEW by unveiling Canada’s Top 10 Mentor Rock Stars. These inspiring individuals will be nominated by their communities for their contributions in volunteer work and leadership development. Nominations are being accepted until October 25. Last year’s Canadian Mentorship Challenge winner was British Columbia’s Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC), which hosted more than 4,500 entrepreneurs for three days of events. They competed with organizations and individuals across 10 provinces; collectively mentoring more than 10,000 entrepreneurs. At a single event, 400 tweets reached an audience of more than 100,000 people in one day. Organizations and individuals can participate in this year’s Challenge by registering a mentorship event at http://www.mentorshipchallenge.ca by October 22. For more information on the Canadian Mentorship Challenge, other mentor events happening across Canada, or mentorship’s role in business, visit http://www.mentorshipchallenge.ca. Follow the Challenge and contribute to the conversation by searching #mentorscan on Twitter or following @Startup_Canada, @GEWCanada and @CYBFCanada for updates and other entrepreneurship news. -30- For more information: Matt Seniuk – firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Gagnon- email@example.com About the Canada Mentorship Challenge The Canadian Mentorship Challenge is a nation-wide challenge during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 (November 18-24, 2012) to encourage organizations and groups across Canada to organize mentorship events in their communities in an effort to collectively mentor more than 10,000 enterprising Canadians over the course of the week. The idea for the Canadian Mentorship Challenge was inspired through feedback from entrepreneurs during Startup Canada’s 2012 National Tour. From March to September, Startup Canada visited 10 provinces to consult with more than 20,000 Canadians and brainstorm solutions to the top challenges facing entrepreneurs on local, regional and national scales. For more information on the 2013 Canadian Mentorship Challenge, visit www.mentorshipchallenge.ca About Startup Canada Startup Canada is a grassroots movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by strengthening Canada’s entrepreneurship culture and ecosystem through: supporting vibrant startup communities; igniting mainstream cultural campaigns; providing a platform to connect the community; and, serving as a voice for entrepreneurs to decision makers. We are proudly supported by Microsoft, Gowlings, Intuit, Scotiabank, LaBarge About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF’s co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF’s application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs.