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Rotman Family Entrepreneurship Awards

Applications and nominations are now open.
The deadline for submission is April 302023, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

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About the Event

The Rotman Family Entrepreneurship Awards is our signature annual event that brings together the entire Rise community to honour and celebrate the outstanding achievements of our clients and volunteers. 

  • Award winners will receive a $1,000 cash prize.
  • Award winners will be featured on the Rise website.
  • Winners will be celebrated at the Rotman Family Entrepreneurship Awards (virtual) on November 15, 2023


About the Award Recipients

Rotman Family Entrepreneurship Awards recipients have either demonstrated entrepreneurial excellence in running their own
business or have been an exceptional mentor or coach to clients during their launch and growth.

Is that you? Here’s what we’re looking for:

Rise Clients: We focus on perseverance in the face of challengesAward recipients demonstrate resilience and have built self-confidence through their business pursuits. 
Rise Volunteers: We look for dedication to Rise’s mission and vision. Our Scotia Volunteer of the Year Award winner embodies Rise values and plays a fundamental role in supporting the success of Rise entrepreneurs.



Award Categories

Rotman Family Entrepreneur of the Year: For the entrepreneur that best exhibits success and growth in their personal and professional lives. When it comes to business planning, you have made smart and sound decisions. Your story is one to be celebrated and can stand as an example for others to follow. In order to be eligible for this award your business must be at least 2 years old (based on business registration date), generating stable or growing sales, and have at least 1 achievement that was larger than expected.
Dr. Paul Garfinkel Resilience Award: For the entrepreneur that has overcome significant challenges (either personal or business). You have grit, perseverance, and don’t take “no” for an answer. While every Rise client experiences their own personal challenges, the resilience award winner demonstrates exceptional determination in achieving their goals. In order to be eligible for this award, your business must be at least 1 year old (based on business registration date), and you must demonstrate a clear example of overcoming at least one significant personal or business challenge.
Start-up Award: For the first-time entrepreneur dipping their toes into small business ownership. You have done your homework and diligently planned your launch. You’ve experienced some initial success and have a clear vision for the future. Your business must be under 12 months old (based on the business registration date) to be eligible for this category.
Scotiabank Volunteer of the Year Award:  For the Rise volunteer who has gone above and beyond to support Rise clients and the organization. Their tireless dedication to our mission and their contributions to individual clients’ success is a clear example of exemplary service.


Application & Nomination Guidelines


  • Rise clients must have received a loan from Rise or have graduated from a Rise Training Program (PSSP, YSBP, EY+, My Start-Up) prior to April 10, 2023. 
  • Rise volunteers must be nominated by a Rise client. 
  • Previous award recipients will not be considered.  

Rise is committed to access and equity, which includes a commitment to achieving diversity among award recipients. We encourage applications from our clients and nominations for volunteers that are members of visible  minority group in all its forms, including: race, culture, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, language, physical ability, and age


Important Dates


April 30: Submission deadline
June 1: Applications Reviewed
June 26: Applicants and Nominees will be notified
November 15: Rotman Family Entrepreneurship Awards – a virtual event


Apply Now