By Marcia Love
A popular local tourist attraction has been selected to represent the province as a finalist in the 2015 Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Young Entrepreneur Award.
Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures Ltd. plans to expand its zip-line canopy tour business and spread a message about environmental sustainability. To do this, it would greatly benefit from the award’s grand prize of $100,000.
The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest selected 10 finalists between the ages of 18 and 35 to compete for the grand prize. The runner-up will receive $25,000 in consulting services.
Eco-Adventures president and CEO Jori Kirk, 33, intends to expand the local attraction through its “eco thrills” project to include fun for the whole family, making it suitable for visitors of all ages. The business would use the prize money to invest in new base camp amenities and kid-friendly programs and activities, as well as furthering its work to create a healthier planet through its not-for-profit charity, Eco-Adventures 306 Foundation.
“We have such a cool thing going on here,” Kirk said in a press release. “It’s opened the eyes of a lot of people to appreciate the variety of things you can do for fun in this province that are great for families and environmentally-friendly.”
Michel Bergeron, senior vice-president, marketing and public affairs at BDC, said each of the finalists offers a compelling story of their business standing at a crucial crossroads where the right mix of vision and action can create future growth.
“With his outdoor adventure business, Jori has found an innovative way to enrich Saskatchewan’s tourism sector and create a business model that also supports an important environmental cause,” she stated.
With Eco-Adventures’ Elk Ridge Resort location set to open near Prince Albert National Park this month, the business is offering more one-of-a-kind experiences to visitors, showcasing Saskatchewan’s natural beauty.
Eco Adventures now needs the public’s help to secure the prize. Voting for the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award runs from June 3-17. To vote for Kirk and his big plans for his local tourism business, visit http://www.bdcyoungentrepreneuraward.ca/en/finalists/eco-thrills.