For more than 25 years, the Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) in Newfoundland and Labrador have helped thousands of young people get started in business through its Youth Ventures program.

Youth Ventures, a 16-week summer program, is designed to encourage and inspire the province’s youth (up to 29 years of age) by providing the tools, resources, and mentorship necessary to turn their creative ideas into thriving businesses. The aim is to help empower the next generation of business leaders to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship and realize their full potential.

On August 22, 2023, Youth Ventures celebrated its 26th Annual Provincial Awards at the St. John’s Farmers Market. The Awards is a celebration of entrepreneurial excellence, youth innovation and strong business acumen where outstanding entrepreneurs who have demonstrated tremendous achievements were recognized through the afternoon in the areas of customer service, marketing, arts & tourism, financial management, community impact, innovation, and leadership.

The event featured the presentation of the awards and a small business showcase where the award winners could display their products and services to attendees. Approximately 120 people attended the Awards event including the Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, who brought greetings on behalf of the province.

This year, ten awards were given out in the following award categories:

Venture of the Year, Excellence in Marketing, Excellence in Arts & Tourism, Trailblazer of the Year, Outstanding Venture (17 & under), Excellence in Customer Service, Excellence in Financial Management, Community Impact as well as a Star Coordinator and Mentor of the Year award.

Community Impact, sponsored by the St. John’s Farmers’ Market: Jayden Reid – J.R.s Cupcakes, participant of CBDC Central

Excellence in Financial Management, sponsored by the Newfoundland & Labrador Credit Union:
Preston Clarke – Precision Ground Care, participant of CBDC Celtic

Trailblazer of the Year, sponsored by iDesign Ltd.: Charlotte Fillier – Charlotte’s Critter Care, participant of CBDC Nortip

Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Islandwide Promotions: Samantha Thorne – Heart + Home Design Co., participant of CBDC Celtic

Excellence in Arts & Tourism, sponsored by Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador:
Kosuke Toba – Ugly Stix, participant of CBDC Humber

Excellence in Customer Service, sponsored by Jungle Jims Eatery: Emily Coombs – The Nail Room, participant of CBDC Emerald

Outstanding Venture (17 years & under), sponsored by Newfoundland Power:
Emma and Katie Foss – Emma & Katie’s Candy Shop, participant of CBDC Cabot

Venture of the Year, sponsored by CBDC:
Abrahim Derradjii-Aouat – Shoreside Soaporium, participant of Empower, the Disability Resource Center

Mentor of the Year, sponsored by MusicNL:
Krysta Carroll, Mentor at CBDC Central

Star Coordinator: Caleb Mercer, Coordinator at CBDC Trinity Conception

“Education is the key to unlocking the power of dreams, Youth Ventures provides a unique opportunity for the next generation of our province’s entrepreneurs to dream big, exercise creativity, develop an idea and explore it as a business opportunity. Congratulations to the young entrepreneurs of 2023, who inspire us with their success today, and leave us anxious to see what success is yet to come as they create jobs and help build a new economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
– Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador 

Although CBDC’s Youth Ventures program primarily operates as a summer program, the businesses supported frequently transition into year-round endeavours, leading to successful self-employment. As these individuals mature beyond the program, seek business expansion, or need ongoing support beyond the summer season, they can rely on the assistance of the 15 CBDCs in Newfoundland and Labrador to provide the necessary support to help them thrive.

“In its 31 years of operation, Youth Ventures has helped 7,982 budding entrepreneurs start 4,891 businesses by providing advice on idea development, business planning, marketing direction and financial advice.”  


26th Annual Provincial Awards celebrates Youth entrepreneurial excellence

Ambitions is a publication of the Atlantic Association of CBDCs intended to promote and celebrate small business and entrepreneurial success in the communities we serve.

We let our clients tell our story.

Get In Touch

Atlantic Association of CBDCs
459 Murray St., Suite 200
Mulgrave, NS B0E 2G0

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Scroll to Top