For overcoming barriers to equality in the workforce, these rural entrepreneurs deserve your clicks. The Just Watch ME! video contest through Community Futures, Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program, has entered the final phase.
A panel of judges, including a former contest winner, have selected the top four entrepreneurs in the seasoned category. The public is asked to show their support by voting daily at the contest page up until Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2017.
In the seasoned entrepreneur category there are four finalists to vote for, two from Saskatchewan and two from Manitoba.
Janie Gaudet is a concrete artist with a business based in Warman, Sask., called Sweet Crete Decor. Also hailing from Rosthern, Sask., is tattoo artist Kimberly Wylie of True U Tattoo & Creationz Inc.
From Manitoba the finalists include counsellor Lucy Fouasse of Lil’ Steps Miniatures & Wellness Farm in St. Malo, and baker Carrie Arsenault of Sugar Me Cookie Boutique in Gimli.
The entrepreneur who gets the most online votes will win the first place prize of $1000 cash and business prizes valued at over $5000.
The contest also includes a startup entrepreneur category for those with businesses less than a year old. The winner of that title is chosen solely by the panel of judges.
Winners of both categories will be publicly announced on Feb. 17, 2017.
A total of twenty two participants entered the contest for 2016-17, a new record for the six-year-old contest, which relies on social media @EDPJustWatchMe, and community sponsors to spread the word.
Each year, entrepreneurs with disabilities or health conditions who operate businesses in small centres and rural communities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are encouraged to enter.
The goal is to provide them with mentorship and support to succeed, but also to eliminate stereotypes about persons with disabilities in the workforce by engaging local communities.
Global Saskatoon News anchor, Julie Mintenko, is the social media ambassador for Just Watch ME! video contest.