Columns: Small business innovation in B.C.

To recognize young entrepreneurs, our government has launched the new Celebrate Entrepreneurship Award with Junior Achievement BC.

To recognize young entrepreneurs, our government has launched the new Celebrate Entrepreneurship Award with Junior Achievement British Columbia. The award will recognize the student-led company that demonstrates the most innovation in their business. The winning company and recipient of a $3,000 cash prize will be announced at Junior Achievement of B.C.’s awards ceremony in June 2016.

For more than 60 years, Junior Achievement British Columbia has been a part of an international non-profit organization that delivers business training programs through partnerships with local schools with individual volunteers from local business communities. It teaches work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy in B.C. You can learn more at http://british-columbia.jacan.org/.

Innovation is the backbone of many successful small businesses and I’m thrilled that this award will recognize the accomplishments of our youth entrepreneurs.

Small businesses have a big impact on our provincial economy. They employ more than one million British Columbians. That’s 54 per cent of all private sector jobs in B.C.

In my role as Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, I am working with our government to cultivate an environment in which small businesses can prosper. It’s important that we work together to encourage people to pursue small business, including young people.

We have creative entrepreneurs here in our community. Entrepreneur Bryton Kaufman of Adventure Games Inc. opened his business in September of last year, at 20 years old.

As Small Business Month draws to a close, I want to thank small business owners in Williams Lake who contribute to our local economy.

From restaurants to fashion to business services, to tourism, we have a variety of unique small businesses here at home. So, the next time you’re out shopping, buy local. Support people in our community and keep money circulating in our local economy. For a list of local business, visit http://lovewilliamslake.com/.

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and the Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.