TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), addressed small business owners and entrepreneurs at the Spotlight on Entrepreneurs—Celebrating the Year of the Entrepreneur event hosted by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

"Our government recognizes and values the power of the Canadian entrepreneurs who drive our economy forward. It is for this reason we have designated 2011 the Year of the Entrepreneur," said Minister of State Bernier. "Congratulations to all of the award winners being celebrated as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Entrepreneurs hold the keys to Canada's future economic success."

Galen Weston was awarded the CYBF Entrepreneurial Nation Builder Award, Sheldon Levy the CYBF Entrepreneurial Educator Award, and Bruce Poon Tip the CYBF Entrepreneurial Trailblazer Award.

The Government of Canada is committed to working closely with entrepreneurs and business owners to strengthen the economy and make Canada an innovative and competitive leader on the global stage. The CYBF supports these efforts by filling an important gap in providing financial assistance and mentoring support to Canada's young business leaders.

As part of Budget 2011, the government invested $20 million over two years to support the work of the CYBF.

Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is hosted in Canada by the CYBF, runs from November 14–20, 2011.

Contact Information:

Scott French
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Media Relations
Industry Canada