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Future business leaders invited to pitch their ideas

March 1, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir

If you’ve got a good idea, it’s time to speak up.

Nottawasaga Futures is looking for the business leaders of tomorrow to step up and make their pitches to the business leaders of today through the 2019 Youth Business Plan Competition.

Applications are now being accepted through March 7 and all qualifying entrants will be invited to pitch their ideas to judges March 21 at the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library.

The competition is open to all aspiring entrepreneurs from elementary school, high school, college and university ages 29 and under.

Entrants are asked to submit their business plan by the March 7 deadline for a chance to win a Grand Prize of $500, a contribution toward the success of their business.

“This will be the third installment of the Competition,” Martin Kuzma of Nottawasaga Futures tells The Times. “We take all the submissions, and we have a committee that selects the top five and [the top five] come into pitch before a panel of four judges on Pitch Night.”

In conjunction with the Youth Business Plan Competition, Nottawasaga Futures is also delivering the Summer Company program, which provides start-up money to qualifying students in order to get their business ideas off the ground.

The program also provides advice and mentorship from local business leaders, a nice synergy with the Youth Business Plan Competition.

“We found a lot of students who were applying for the Summer Company program didn’t necessarily have an idea of how to write a business plan,” says Mr. Kuzma. “It seemed it was causing anxiety. Here, they learned how to prepare a business plan and felt it was part of their realm of skills.

“Nottawasaga Futures guides youth through the process of writing a business plan, if they need help. We guide them through the process of what to consider, the different parts of a business plan, looking at your marketing, product and what you’re offering. When people apply, we take them through the whole process of how it works. That is only the first part of it. Based on the quality, viability and just overall appearance of the business plan, you get invited to pitch it at Pitch Night.”

Previous entrants have seen a wide variety of pitches, everything from landscaping businesses to window cleaning services. Last year’s winner pitched raising chickens, butchering them and selling the meat.

“His business plan was well written, he was well prepared and he nailed his pitch,” Mr. Kuzma recalls. “We also had students creating innovative things and pitching their ideas as well. The ones who are able to speak well on their idea and convince the judges that their idea was workable and feasible are the ones who end up winning. Everybody’s idea is good, but it is just the ones who are able to go that one step beyond on why they should get the funding [go] above any other.”

If you think your idea has what it takes to go the distance, consider entering the 2019 Youth Business Plan Competition by emailing Martin Kuzma at


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