Canadian small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that can articulately describe a challenge they are facing and how $100,000 could help overcome that challenge have a chance to win $100,000 in a contest launched today by Telus and the Globe and Mail.

The third annual edition of The Challenge contest invites Canadian SMBs to submit 800 words detailing the obstacle on their entrepreneurial path, a plan to remove it with the cash prize, what results they’ll achieve as a result, and how the feel-good values of community, customer service, and innovation are a part of their business. Not surprisingly the big prize lures a lot of competition, with The Challenge receiving more than 1200 entries last year. Entries are judged by a panel of Telus and Globe employees.

Related Story: BDC invites young entrepreneurs to compete for $100,000

Last year’s winner, Glassopolis, presented its plan to bring a new fire-resistive product to the North American market. Its production facility required an upgrade to handle the larger and heavier glass for its Fireswiss product that avoids bubbling in the face of extreme heat and can withstand the stream of a firehose without breaking.  Glassopolis bought a heavy-duty glass saw that even its larger competitors don’t have with the prize money.

The inaugural winner of The Challenge was Lethbridge, Alta.-based Down to Earth Labs Inc. (Sandberg Labs at the time). The agricultural testing lab described its need to update chemistry equipment that was 25 to 30 years old and once it won, bought the equipment and installed it.  Co-founder Angela Quinton says the changes not only led to better profits, but boosted staff morale.

Entries to the contest are being accepted until May 27.

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