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October 21, 2008
The future is green for Toronto entrepreneurs and businesses
Under the banner of “going green for the entrepreneur of the future,” more than 1,000 seasoned and new businesspeople explored new strategies to both green and grow their businesses at today’s seventh annual Small Business Forum.

A joint presentation by Enterprise Toronto and the Centennial College’s Centre of Entrepreneurship, the annual Small Business Forum has become an anticipated event on Toronto’s business calendar as a valuable opportunity for networking and sourcing new ideas for business financing, marketing strategies and other business-friendly services offered by all orders of government and corporate partners.

In addressing the “green” theme of this year’s forum, Mayor David Miller noted in his welcome to participants that “… real opportunities exist in innovative, green businesses. Climate change is one the major issues of our time - possibly of all time. And, right now, the economy is top of mind for all of us, as well, which is why it’s so important that we work to enhance green entrepreneurship. Putting green practices to work is one way small businesses can weather the economic storm.”

“Small and medium enterprises are the engine of our economy,” said Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services. “There are more than 365,000 small and medium-sized business establishments located in Ontario and over half of all Ontarians employed in private sector businesses work in a small or medium-sized business. It is for this reason we pay tribute and celebrate the contributions of small business every October during Salute to Small Business Month.”

A highlight of the forum is the awards ceremony that recognizes the year’s outstanding entrepreneurs. The 2008 winners, in five distinct categories, are:

Most Improved Award - Poonam Arora, Purple Circle Inc.
Most Innovative Award - Elsie Bordynuik, 5Paws Art Studio
Best Overall Performance Award - Mary Fragedakis, OpenDialogue Inc.
ITP Entrepreneur of the Year Award - Billie Mintz, Artists Raising Consciousness Inc.
Youth Entrepreneur Award - Ashlea Patchett, First Aid Education Training

The Toronto Small Business Forum is made possible through the generous support of the City of Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services, Centennial College, Canada-Ontario Business Service Centre, Toronto Community News, TBT Toronto Business Times, Cyberbahn Group, Alterna Savings, BDC, Grand & Toy, REDWIRE, and Bullfrog Power.

Enterprise Toronto, part of the City of Toronto’s Economic Development, Culture and Tourism Division, is an innovative public and private sector alliance that provides one-stop sourcing of services and programs tailored to meet the needs of Toronto’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. Centennial College Centre of Entrepreneurship provides training and consulting services for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Jack David, Enterprise Toronto, Small Business Consultant, 416-392-1328
Rae Cowan, Centre of Entrepreneurship, Centennial College, 416-438-2216 ext. 8580



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