PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 20, 2014) - Futurpreneur Canada and BG Canada are pleased to announce the launch of their new collaborative initiative, ThriveNorth. Through the ThriveNorth initiative, the two partners will work with the local business network to empower and enhance entrepreneurship opportunities for young people in British Columbia's Northwest region.

Through ThriveNorth, young people in the region will have access to financing, mentorship and the resources necessary to launch and grow their own businesses.

Futurpreneur Canada and BG Canada have established a five-year partnership, with a $5 million commitment from BG, with the goal of inspiring and aiding young people in the Northwest region who want to own and operate their own businesses. The collaborative initiative stems from the shared belief that a mix of thriving local business and larger development projects is essential in building a stronger, more resilient local economy in British Columbia's Northwest region.

"We are thrilled to partner with BG Canada on this new initiative that will help enhance the careers of young people in the Northwest region," says Julia Deans, CEO, Futurpreneur Canada. "Working with the community's existing business network, ThriveNorth will provide new opportunities and a significant amount of educational and financial resources that will bring young business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs closer to achieving their career aspirations."

"Partnering with Futurpreneur Canada on ThriveNorth will help us to create new opportunities for younger generations," says BG Canada President Madeline Whitaker. "There is an incredible amount of passion and skill within the region, and we are proud to support the community's aspiring entrepreneurs and thriving local economy. We believe this partnership has a significant role to play in helping achieve long-term economic and social prosperity for the people of Northern BC. It represents an investment in the future."

"Small business owners consistently identify a need to expand the education of our youth to include business, financial and entrepreneurship training," said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond. "The ThriveNorth Entrepreneurship Initiative will help pave the way for budding entrepreneurs in the Northwest region of B.C. and provide the knowledge and tools so that our young people can take their first steps on the way to becoming our province's future business leaders."

The partnership will kick-off with the ThriveNorth Business Challenge. The Challenge invites young people (18-39) in the Northwest region to submit unique business ideas for a chance to win expert training sessions, exposure in the local community and a cash prize of up to $10,000. Whether it's a new business, a new social enterprise or growing an existing business, the ThriveNorth Business Challenge provides a unique opportunity for young people to kick-start their start-up.

About Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation or CYBF) has been fuelling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada's young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince's Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. See more at: Facebook: Futurpreneur BC Twitter: @FuturpreneurBC

About BG Group

BG Group plc (LSE:BG) is a world leader in natural gas, with a broad portfolio of business interests focused on exploration and production and liquefied natural gas. Active in more than 20 countries on five continents, BG Group combines a deep understanding of gas markets with a proven track record in finding and commercialising reserves. For further information visit:

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