Approximately 1 in 5 Canadians has a disability—and of those roughly 6 million citizens, nearly 500,000 are able to hold steady employment. Owning a small business is an ideal career path for many of these job-ready Canadians with health conditions because of the ability to create a customized schedule and environment that fits their needs, as well as the sense of control and accomplishment that often comes with entrepreneurship.
That is why on the UN International Day of Persons With Disabilities (Monday, December 4, 2017), Community Futures is launching its annual “Just Watch ME!” video contest to celebrate and encourage local entrepreneurs with disabilities!
Open to all small business owners with disabilities or ongoing health conditions within the rural Manitoba and rural Saskatchewan areas, the Just Watch ME! Video awards a $1,000 grand prize to one winner and business-support prize packages to several finalists.
To enter, you simply have to create a 2- to 3-minute video explaining your business success and upload it to the contest website by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Two types of entrepreneurs with disabilities are eligible to participate in the contest:
- Start Ups: companies in operation for less than 1 year
- Seasoned Entrepreneurs: small business owners with companies older than 1 year
Four finalists will be determined on February 1, 2018 by an experienced panel of judges selected to represent Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s business and disability community. The public then determines the grand prize winner via online vote in the first two weeks of February, with the $1,000 business award being announced on February 15, 2018. A complete list of prizes can be found at www.justwatchmecontest.ca/prizes.
The Just Watch ME! contest timeline is as follows:
- Video entries open: December 4, 2017
- Video entries close: January 23, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
- Top 4 finalists announced by judges’ panel: February 1, 2018
- Public voting begins: February 1, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
- Public voting ends: February 12, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
- Winners Announced: February 15, 2018
Since its inception in 2011, the Just Watch ME! video contest has awarded grand prizes and business-support packages to companies across several industries and geographic areas. Last year’s winner, Lucy Fouasse of St. Malo, used her $1,000 grand prize in support of Lil’ Steps Miniatures and Wellness Farm, which focuses on equine facilitated wellness and animal-assisted youth counseling.
Another 2016-2017 finalist, Kimberly Wylie of Rosthern, entered her small business True U Tattoo & Creationz Inc. in the Just Watch ME! video contest to showcase her love of entrepreneurship. “Being self-employed allows me to create the right environment for myself and my clients, creating a relaxing, happy, and personable atmosphere where creativity flourishes,” she says. “I would advise anybody with a disability to leverage a skill they have, find the right team, and create the right environment to build their own success.”
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Just Watch ME! video contest is merely one way that Community Futures supports local entrepreneurs with health conditions. We also offer the Entrepreneurs With Disabilities Program (EDP) year-round in rural Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which provides training, mentorship, and access to small business loans.
Learn more about the Just Watch ME! video contest and submit your short video straight to the website between December 4, 2017 and 10 a.m. on January 23, 2018!
Find more information about Community Futures programs and small business loans at: