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CICan announces Entrepreneurship Award winners

Quebec, March 10, 2015 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is proud to announce the winners the first CICan Entrepreneurship Awards. The winning colleges and institutes were celebrated at CICan’s Enabling Entrepreneurship Symposium, which was hosted by Cégep Garneau in Québec City.

CICan’s Entrepreneurship Awards recognize colleges and institutes’ excellence in promoting entrepreneurial values as a means of fostering innovation and supporting local economies.

“In a country where 78% of businesses are small and medium-sized enterprises it is absolutely essential for post-secondary institutions to help develop an entrepreneurial mindset”, explains Denise Amyot, CICan president and CEO. “Over the years, colleges and institutes across the country have developed a tremendous expertise in this regard and continue to innovate in order to train and support the business leaders of tomorrow.”

The awards were distributed to nine different colleges in five categories: Entrepreneurship in the Community, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, College and Institute Entrepreneurial Ventures, Student Entrepreneurship and Innovative Instructional Approaches.


Entrepreneurship in the Community

Centennial College was recognized for its successful Ontario Self-Employment Benefits (OSEB) Program, which, over the last two decades, has assisted more than 3,600 unemployed and under-employed Ontarians in starting and operating a new business.

Okanagan College’s School of Business was recognized for a wide variety of successful projects in support of the Okanagan regions’ economy. The school has fostered entrepreneurship for years through initiatives such as an entrepreneur in residence program, a young entrepreneur program and two centres of excellence, one on small business and entrepreneurship and another for non-profit excellence.


Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

Bow Valley College’s (BVC) Chiu School of Business was recognized for embracing social entrepreneurship and developing multiple activities to create social entrepreneurs. BVC also collaborates with a number of high profile partners such has the RBC Foundation and Talisman Energy to support local entrepreneurship.

The Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning was recognized for fostering Femme International, an organization founded by two Humber students through the college’s entrepreneurial competition HumberLaunch. Thanks to funding from the College, Sabrina Rubli and Ella Marinic were able to put in place their project aimed at supporting Women’s health in developing countries.


College and Institute Entrepreneurial Ventures

Centennial College was recognized for its entrepreneurial approach in the construction of its brand new Residence and Culinary Arts Centre. This is the outcome of an enterprising venture creatively financed through a public-private partnership (P3). The college is building this $85 million state-of-the-art LEED Silver-certified building by investing only $6.5 million in cash towards the capital project.

Red Deer College was recognized for two innovative ventures: the Donald School of Business and the Welikoklad Event Centre. The college has created centre-pieces to both support the community and to drive entrepreneurial activities including performances, conferences and specialized training for both the arts and business communities.


Enabling Student Entrepreneurship

Medicine Hat College’s Entrepreneur Development Centre was recognized for fostering and enhancing a culture of entrepreneurship. Thanks to important industry partnerships the centre has been working directly with students and alumni to provide them with the resources they need to successfully start, manage and grow entrepreneurial careers.

Dawson College’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education (CIEE) was recognized for it’s many activities in support of student entrepreneurs. In particular it’s Eweek, which attracts thousands of participants each year, and the School for Civic and Social Innovation, an inspiring multi-institutional partnership between l’École de technologie supérieure, Dawson and Cégep André Laurendeau.


Innovative Instructional Approaches

 Olds College was recognized for its use of gamification in its education curriculum in order to foster an entrepreneurial mindset. The college has been using an iPad app called The Spirit of Entrepreneurship to encourage students to understand and apply entrepreneurship skills. To date approximately 1400 students have accessed the app.

Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick was recognized for developing new teaching methods that integrate entrepreneurial values. This includes smaller class sizes in order to facilitate exchanges and collaboration, a new kind of entrepreneurship club, which is entirely managed by students and partnerships with local businesses to help students practice what they have learned.


About Colleges and Institutes Canada

Colleges and Institutes Canada is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes and polytechnics. We work with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities in Canada. The Association operates in 29 countries via 13 offices around the world.




For more information :

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
613-746-2222 ext 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan