26th Annual Youth Ventures Awards Press Release 

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“26th Annual Provincial Awards Celebrates Youth Entrepreneurial Excellence”

Youth Ventures Newfoundland & Labrador hosts its biggest event of the year to recognize the achievements of youth entrepreneurs.

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Youth Ventures Newfoundland and Labrador is thrilled to announce its 26th Annual Youth Ventures Awards, a celebration of entrepreneurial excellence, youth innovation and strong business acumen. The event will take place on August 22, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, where outstanding entrepreneurs who have demonstrated tremendous achievements will be recognized through provincial awards.

In its 31 years of operation, Youth Ventures has helped 7,982 budding entrepreneurs start 4,891 businesses by providing advice on idea development, business planning, marketing direction and financial advice.

2023 Award Categories and Recipients:

Community Impact, sponsored by the St. John’s Farmers’ Market
Jayden Reid – J.R.s Cupcakes, participant of CBDC Central

Excellence in Financial Management, sponsored by the Newfoundland & Labrador Credit Union Preston Clarke – Precision Ground Care, participant of CBDC Celtic

Trailblazer of the Year, sponsored by iDesign Ltd.
Charlotte Fillier – Charlotte’s Critter Care, participant of CBDC Nortip

Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Islandwide Promotions
Samantha Thorne – Heart + Home Design Co., participant of CBDC Celtic

Excellence in Arts. & Tourism, sponsored by Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador
Kosuke Toba – Ugly Stix, participant of CBDC Humber

Excellence in Customer Service, sponsored by Jungle Jims Eatery
Emily Coombs – The Nail Room, participant of CBDC Emerald

Outstanding Venture (17 years & under), sponsored by Newfoundland Power
Emma and Katie Foss – Emma & Katie’s Candy Shop, participant of CBDC Cabot

Venture of the Year, sponsored by CBDC
Abrahim Derradjii-Aouat – Shoreside Soaporium, participant of Empower, the Disability Resource Center

Mentor of the Year, sponsored by MusicNL
Krysta Carroll, Mentor at CBDC Central

Star Coordinator
Caleb Mercer, Coordinator at CBDC Trinity Conceptio

“As Chairperson of the NL Association of CBDCs, I am continually inspired by the passion and ingenuity displayed by our young entrepreneurs. Youth entrepreneurship not only drives economic growth but also instills valuable life skills. The impact of this program reaches far beyond the numbers each year. It nurtures innovation, resilience, and a strong sense of community, qualities that are essential for the future leaders of our province,” said Wayne Power. “The Youth Ventures Awards are a testament to the bright future that these folks are carving for themselves and our province.”

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), contributed

$468,447 towards the delivery of the Youth Ventures Program this year.

“Atlantic Canada’s young entrepreneurs never cease to amaze me with their vision and out-of-the-box solutions for addressing challenges and strengthening their communities,” said the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA.  “With support and guidance from the NL Association of CBDCs, young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians – like this year’s award recipients – are making a real difference to our economy and our communities, while showcasing the incredible talent our region has to offer.”

The Provincial Government, through Immigration, Population Growth and Skills, provided $95,000 to NL Association of CBDCs in support of this year’s Youth Ventures Program.

“Education is the key to unlocking the power of dreams,” said the Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Youth Ventures provides a unique opportunity for the next generation of our province’s entrepreneurs to dream big, exercise creativity, develop an idea and explore it as a business opportunity. Congratulations to the young entrepreneurs of 2023, who inspire us with their success today, and leave us anxious to see what success is yet to come as they create jobs and help build a new economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Youth Ventures is a 16-week program delivered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of CBDCs that promotes entrepreneurship as a career option for youth in Newfoundland & Labrador. Youth Ventures employs Regional Coordinators across the province to foster youth business development.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Roseanne Leonard, Managing Director
NL Association of CBDCs

Robyn Evans, Provincial Coordinator
Youth Ventures
709-745-4406 ext. 202

Paul McGrath, Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

John Tompkins, Director of Communications
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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