Community Futures Lethbridge Region has made the decision to put the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge on hiatus for 2020.  As we take time to find our new, best fit in the entrepreneurial community, this website will remain active with our most recent training videos and resources. 

We will continue with entrepreneurial training, tailored specifically to our client base and community members.  Please feel free to contact our office for information or assistance.

Past Winners

Interested to see which types of businesses have had success in our challenge?

What is the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge?

The Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge (CEC) is more than a competition; it is an opportunity to build on your dream.  It is a business plan writing competition designed and targeted toward new or existing business (individuals, or teams) who have a sustainable business idea.  Through the program you will gain business skills, write your business plan, get feedback on your ideas from regional professionals, network with key people including other entrepreneurs like yourself, and last but not least, have a chance at winning cash and in-kind prizes.  Due to the amazing support from our sponsors, we are able to offer both a general and a technology stream.


Key Dates

  • Nov 20th, 2018

  • JAN 9th, 2019

  • FEB 27th, 2019

  • APR 4th, 2019

  • May 24th, 2019


(2) Grand Prizes

$10,000 Cash + More in-kind prizes

(4) Runner-Up Prizes

$2,500 Cash + More in-kind prizes

The skills you’ll gain

  • Strategic Thinking 25% 25%
  • Business Plan Writing 50% 50%
  • Presenting Ideas 75% 75%
  • Putting Ideas Into Action 100% 100%

Winners of the 15th Annual Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge

View our winners of the 2019 Challenge & read their stories. We’ve seen many unique businesses over the years, could your idea be next?

They are all Winners to us!

Congratulations to all our CEC 2019 Winners in both technology and general streams.

2019 Grand Prize Winner - General Stream

Snappy Babes – Charmaine Uys




Please visit the website at  for more information.

2019 Winner Runner-up General Stream

Core Athlete – Corey Scott, Diana Keenas (not in photo Lonnie Keenas, Melissa Monkhouse



2019 Winner Runner-up General Stream

Earthly Matters Vermiculture – Dan Rollingson, Monica Mulder, Neil Rollingson


Please visit their website at  for more information.

2019 Grand Prize Winner - Technology Stream

Wick Underwear – Davin Johnson and Luke Walburger

Please visit their facebook page:





2019 Winner Runner-up Technology Stream




SkiOrb – Lei Liu and Matthis Bruelheyde


Please visit their website at for more information.

2019 Winner Runner-up Technology Stream

Finaio – Tim Sandul, Simon Lam, Jaden Evanson (not in photo, Tracy Bilcik)

Please visit their facebook page:



1) When is the registration deadline?
You must register online at to participate.  For more information see the Participant Handbook.
2) Is there a cost to enter the program?
Due to the generous help from our sponsors, there is no cost to this program.
3) Who is eligible to participate in Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge?
Eligible to participate
a) Individuals (18 and older)  or teams (one member must be 18 years or older), new or existing business owners, students, researchers, or anyone with a sustainable business plan or concept. Sustainability of the business or concept will be determined in the absolute and sole unfettered discretion of the Organizing Committee and/or Judges.
b) Teams must be living, working or attending school in the Challenge Region (see handbook page 14).
c) Teams must have one member designated as the Team Leader. Team Leader will be the primary contact person for the team, be of legal age (18 years or older), and will be responsible for all communications to and from the CEC on behalf of his or her team.
d) An existing business will have been in operation for five (5) years. A new business will have been in operation for less than five (5) years.
e) Existing and new businesses, as defined in d) above, must not exceed $500,000 in annual revenues; have 20 or fewer full and part time employees, and have a capitalization between $10,000 and $500,000.
f) The proposed business must be located in the Challenge Region (see handbook page 14).
g) All business plans must be submitted no later than 2:00 p.m. on the date published in the Participant Handbook to be eligible.

Ineligible to participate for prizes
A participant is able to participate in the CEC, but is ineligible to compete for prizes if he or she:
a) does not meet all the eligibility requirements;
b) is a member of the CEC Organizing Committee, Screener or Judge (or any partner or business associate of a Screener or Judge), staff member (or staff equivalent), or any of the immediate family of the above who are on a team, is a mentor in the current competition year or operates with some formal business relationship with a Participant;
c) solicits a Judge(s) directly or indirectly, in which case the Participant will be disqualified;
d) has won first place in the CEC in the past five (5) years;
e) exhibits conduct which is unlawful, would reflect poorly on the reputation of the CEC, is harmful with malicious intent to any of the sponsors in any way, or for any other reason at the discretion of the Organizing Committee;
i) does not meet the submission guidelines as published in the handbook (see page 21);
ii) does not have a signed Participant Agreement/Non-Disclosure Agreement or Submission Checklist;
iii) does not agree to the terms and conditions outlined in this handbook.

4) Will my plan remain confidential after judging?
Yes, we have taken all reasonable precautions to provide confidentiality for all participants.  See also FAQ #9
5) How does the participant / team system work?
Teams are a group of individuals who are intending to submit a business plan (note: only one concept per team). Up to four individuals can be on a team. Teams must designate a Team Leader. This Team Leader will be the primary contact person and should be listed as Member #1 on the registration form.

Competitors are those individuals or teams submitting a business plan on the date published in the Participant Handbook.

All participants (teams, individuals and competitors) must be registered before the date published in the Participant Handbook to be eligible to submit a business plan for judging.

6) How big can my team be?
Team sizes can be four or less
7) How does the judging work?
Please refer to the Judging Process in the Participant Handbook.
8) Where can I find resources to help me write my plan?
Along with the training sessions, networking with fellow entrepreneurs, free business counselling with your nearest Community Futures Business Analyst, there is also a link in Participant Tools that takes you to the Community Futures Lethbridge Region website resource page for further detailed business assistance.
9) How will my intellectual property be protected?
We have taken all reasonable precautions to protect intellectual property by having all participants, training staff and volunteers sign Non-Disclosure Agreements. Please see the Participant Handbook for the complete Non-Disclosure Agreement.
10) Do I have to take on additional team members?
No, it is up to the discretion of the Team Leader whether or not you add members to your team. However, you should ensure that all applicable skill areas have been filled prior to plan submission to ensure that you are submitting the best possible plan.
11) If I don’t have a concept, can I still participate?
We are generally looking for individuals and companies trying to develop a feasible concept/business plan through the CEC process, however if you are an interested individual without a concept, who is serious about attending the seminars, you may register.

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