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Helping Young Entrepreneurs Make their Pitch

News Release

Helping Young Entrepreneurs Make their Pitch

Ontario Giving High School Students Access to Business Leaders

Ministry of Economic Development and Growth

Ontario is investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs by providing an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to experts and the public as part of the province's Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch contest. 

The contest, part of Ontario's Youth Jobs Strategy, returns for a second year to challenge high school students in grades 9 through 12 to promote their business idea in a two-minute video. The videos will be evaluated by judges from the business community while the public will be able to vote online for the best pitch.

Eighteen finalists will present their ideas to a judging panel at the Ontario Centres of Excellence's Discovery Conference in Toronto May 12-13 and will also receive business coaching and mentoring. Six winners will get reserved entry into the Summer Company program, which includes a grant of up to $3,000 to help launch their business. 

Helping young entrepreneurs succeed is part of the Ontario government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate. 

Quick Facts

  • The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch contest is part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy.
  • Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy.
  • Youth employment in Ontario rose by 17,100 jobs in 2013 (youth aged 15-24).
  • Ontario’s Summer Company program helped students launch more than 661 businesses in 2013.

Additional Resources


Dr. Eric Hoskins

“When the Make Your Pitch contest was launched last year, it was inspiring to see the entrepreneurial ideas generated by Ontario’s young people. We want to continue that momentum, because learning business start-up skills will help our young entrepreneurs build their futures and the future of Ontario’s economy. It will help young people become job creators.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

“Ontario Centres of Excellence is pleased to once again be partnering with the Government of Ontario to deliver the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch contest and to promote entrepreneurism in the province's high schools. Last year's competition was a tremendous success and we expect great things from the students this year.”

Dr. Tom Corr

President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence

“Participating in the Make Your Pitch contest was an eye-opening experience. I learned about entrepreneurship and the skills it takes to get a new business off the ground. My crowd funding website, Fundja, is a social enterprise that helps source funding for young ideas. I'm so fortunate to have met great people and gained valuable entrepreneurial skills from the contest. I have more options for my future career!”

Quinsea McKenna

Founder of Fundja, Winner of 2013 Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch

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