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 when revealing this year's finalists for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®.
"Quebec needs entrepreneurial role models," explains François Dufresne, Quebec Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. "That's why it's essential that we highlight their success, and reward them. Paying tribute to entrepreneurs shows them that society appreciates their achievements. What's more, successful entrepreneurs can inspire young Quebeckers and encourage them to go into business."
Recognizing the immense potential entrepreneurs can bring to our markets and communities, Ernst & Young says governments, educational institutions, the financial sector and Corporate Canada must work together to create an ecosystem in which an entrepreneurial culture can thrive.
In a new global survey of entrepreneurs - Nature or nurture? - Ernst & Young found that entrepreneurs are generally in a positive position, but continue to face significant obstacles. The firm says entrepreneurs need improved access to credit in addition to new educational opportunities and less red tape. Establishing that kind of ecosystem can unleash limitless entrepreneurial potential.
The key to entrepreneurial success lies in the way entrepreneurs view the world, Dufresne says. 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 stakeholders must renew their focus on this area to adequately support entrepreneurs.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards recognize the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. 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 Quebec winners will be announced at a banquet on October 6, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet held in Toronto on November 23.
The 2011 Quebec finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:
Business-to-business products and services
Groupe Distinction Inc. l Lasalle
A leading provider of building maintenance services with 9,000 employees and 17 offices in Canada.
Mines Virginia Inc. l Quebec City
Mining exploration company that works with many projects in various stages of growth in order to develop mineral resources.
Osisko Mining Corporation l Montreal
A development-stage gold mining company, Osisko is currently completing the construction of the Canadian Malartic gold mine in the Abitibi mining district.
Business-to-consumer products and services
Sanjay Bakshani, Vicken Kanadjian
Cesium Telecom, Inc. l Mont-Royal
One of North America's leading distributors of wireless products, Cesium introduces the latest technology from the world's top manufacturers to the North American market.
Guy Bessette, Manon Duplantie
Fix Auto l Blainville
Franchisor specializing in autobody collision with key customers such as insurers.
Voyages à rabais l Trois-Rivieres
Travel provider that offers vacations, flights and travel insurance.
Frank Baylis, Krishan Shah
Baylis Medical Company Inc. l Saint-Laurent
Recognized around the world for high tech cardiology, radiology and pain management products.
Biron Groupe Santé Inc. l Brossard
A leader in health services in Quebec, BGS is recognized as the partner of choice in health management, offering a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic services.
Minogue Medical Inc. l Montreal
A health-care organization offering medical supplies and equipment, energy supplements and nutrition.
Groupe GFI Solutions Inc. l Montreal
A leader in consulting, development and integration of technology solutions for business, accounting and banking using both traditional methods and software as a service (SaaS) in the cloud.
iBwave l Saint-Laurent
A Canadian-based company created in 2003 from a need to standardize the emerging in-building wireless market. Its software suite and certification programs have been adopted by over 270 telecom leaders in over 70 countries.
R3D Conseil inc. l Montreal
An independent consultant in management and information technology, the company is distinguished by its expertise in offering customers combined business and technology services.
Groupe Biscuits Leclerc l Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures
Designs, produces and markets quality and innovative food products, including cookies, granola bars and crackers.
Groupe Mundial l Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon
Sheet metal transformation, moulding and machining of rubber and other polymers.
Lumenpulse Inc. l Montreal
Designs and manufactures cutting-edge architectural solid-state lighting for both interior and exterior applications.
Groupe conseil FXinnovation Inc. l Montreal
Provider of consulting services and business optimization solutions in information technology and communications.
L-IPSE Services conseil inc. l Quebec City
An information technology consulting firm.
PEAK Financial Group l Montreal
A network representing more than 1,000 independent financial advisors to over 135,000 Canadian investors.
Isabelle Bettez, Jean-Sébastien Bettez
8D Technologies inc l Montreal
A world leader in developing advanced, intelligent wireless, machine-to-machine, multi-function solar-based point-of-sale solutions.
Accedian Networks l Saint-Laurent
A leading provider of High Performance Service Assurance™ solutions for carrier ethernet networks.
Enerkem Inc. l Montreal
A leading garbage-to-biofuel and chemicals company. It builds, owns and operates its compact facilities that employ its clean, proprietary technology.
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.
Gabriel Bran Lopez
Fusion Jeunesse, Montréal
Youth Fusion establishes innovative partnerships between high schools and universities to counter high school dropout by creating and implementing projects that engage youth.