Youth recognized for their entrepreneurial ideas at YBEX awards

TISDALE — Businesses involving leaf cutter bees and eco-friendly soap were some of the entrepreneurial ideas youth presented to Community Futures NewSask.

There were 19 business plans submitted by youth at the 18th annual Youth Business Excellence Awards. 

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Connie Ruston, NewSask’s executive administrator, said the awards serve to recognize and encourage the achievements of young people in the region. It also serves to promote entrepreneurship as a career option.

“It’s to just raise awareness for the kids for what it’s like for a business,” Ruston said. “Some do business cards, some do signage. They go into great detail too.”

The youth had to submit a business plan with as much information as possible.

Ruston said that she was a little disappointed with the number of participants, although the numbers were about the same as last year.

Some of the winning pitches received $350, half of which goes towards their school.

The awards took place at the Tisdale Civic Centre May 4.

Ryan Morris, a Grade 7 student from Nipawin’s LP Miller Comprehensive School pitched his idea for “M R Morris Leaf Cutter Bees”.

Morris has currently put his idea in practice and is selling his product.

“My leaf cutter bee business is I go on a farm and basically I harvest leaf cutter bees and sell them to the US for pollination of their crops,” Miller said.

His grandmother gave him and his brother money to start up their own business, and he chose bees due to the compatibility with the crops his family farms.

“Later that year, when we made back her money, we paid her back and now we officially own our own leaf cutter bee company – me and my brother. My mom and dad recently bought into our leaf cutter bee company.”

Morris received an agricultural business award and first place for business venture individual category winner in Grades 6 to 9.

“I was very happy with my results,” Morris said. “I think leaf cutter bees are very good things in the world.”

He believes leaf cutter bees matter to the environment, and that managing them is a cool habit to get into.

Alannah Cotterill was one of the participants from Cumberland College.

“I did a home-based cleaning company,” Cotterill said. “It’s all eco-friendly products so there is no chemicals, which is really great for people who have small kids or pets at home. It’s really good for your health and it does a really great job of getting everything nice and clean, and it’s a nice way of putting a twist on the cleaning industry.”

She received second place in business plan individual for out of public school youth, as well as a second place special achievement.

Cotterill believes the idea is important because of the shift toward more eco-friendly products and the growing concern for the environment.

“This way it’s a little bit safer when you flush the products down the drain and everything.”

 

Awards winners

Business Plan Individual Category winners Grades 6 to 9

  • 1st place winner – Haley Demmans from L.P. Miller Comprehensive School for “HD the Equine Chiropractor
  • 2nd place winner – Jorgia Brad from L.P. Miller Comprehensive School for “Sweets & Treats Galore”
  • 3rd place winner – Emma Thomas from St. Brieux for “Country Cuisine”

Business Plan Individual Category winners Grades 10 to 12

  • 1st place winner – Gage Bacon from Kinistino for “Ripped off Honey”

Business Plan Individual Out of School Youth

  • 1st place winner – Ethan Thomas from Cumberland College Tisdale for “ET Games Galore and more”
  • 2nd place winner – Alannah Cotterill from Cumberland College Tisdale for “Supreme Clean”

Business Plan Group Category winners Grades 6 to 9

  • 1st place winner – Maressa Stene and Alycia Boynton from L.P. Miller Comprehensive School for “The Fuller Pet”
  • 2nd place winner – Tyler Johns and Cade Bohn from L.P. Miller Comprehensive School for “Ground up café
  • 3rd place winner: Sydney McFall and Alexis Clarke from L.P. Miller Comprehensive School for “Hurt no more”

Business Plan Group Category winners Grades 10 to 12

  • 1st place winner – Justin Mann and Gage Bacon from Kinistino for “Food on the fly”

Business Venture Individual Category winner Grades 6 to 9

  • 1st place winner – Ryan Morris from L.P. Miller Comprehensive School for “M R Morris Leaf Cutter Bees”

Special Achievement Awards

  • 1st Special Achievement – Hudson Schmidt and Heath Knudsen for “Exel”
  • 2nd Special Achievement – Alannah Cotteril for “Supreme Clean”
  • 3rd Special Achievement – Maressa Stene and Alicia Boynton for “The Fuller Pet”
  • 4th Special Achievement – Amaris Grandfield for “Designs by Amari”
  • 5th Special Achievement – Kara Taylor for “Beyond the Bathroom”
  • 6th Special Achievement – Abby Holliday for “Holliday Drinks”
  • Agricultural Business Award #1 – Ryan Morris for “M R Morris Leaf Cutter Bees”
  • Agricultural Business Award #2 – Gage Bacon for “Ripped off Honey”
  • Newsask Memorial Award – Ethan Thomas for “ET Games Galore and More
     
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