Entries for the Start-Up Business Contest are now closed.

The finalists will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. If you'd like to join us for the contest and a lot more, sign up for the Regional Business Forum by clicking here.


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  1. Entrants must be age 19 or older at time of entry.
  2. Proposed business must be ready to begin start-up process within 6 months of contest closing.
  3. Existing small businesses must have been in business no longer than two years from contest opening.
  4. Existing businesses that began prior to January 2020 must have plans to diversify within 6 months of contest closing.

Businesses must be located in one of the following communities:

  • Smithers, Telkwa, and Electoral Area A (Smithers/Telkwa Rural)
  • Houston, Granisle, and Elecotoral Area G (Houston/Granisle Rural)
  • Burns Lake, Electoral Area B (Burns Lake Rural) and Electoral Area E (Francois/Ootsa Lake Rural)
  • Fraser Lake and Electoral Area D (Fraser Lake Rural)
  • Vanderhoof and Electoral Area F (Vanderhoof Rural)
  • Fort St James and Electoral Area C (Fort St. James Rural)

Following the entry deadline the selection panel will review all entries and the top five finalists will be selected.  The finalists will be notified and they will advance to Stages 2 and 3 of the contest. Finalists will provide additional materials to the selection panel, deliver a concept pitch, and be interviewed by the selection committee at the Business Forum. The finalists will attend the Gala Dinner for the announcement of the Start-up Business Contest winner.


Questions about the contest or the application process? Please email us at economic.development@rdbn.bc.ca