2014 Small Business Achievement Awards

Winners: (left to right) Mia Pearson, Justin Creally, Jim Button, Thaves Ponnampalam, Ara Ehamparam, Matt Hill, Paige Larson

Dragons’ Den’s Kevin O’Leary


Awards were presented in five categories: Small Business of the Year, Start-up of the Year, Innovation of the Year, Social Impact, and Youth Entrepreneur of the Year.

Winners received transportation to the awards show, accommodation, a three-hour mentoring session with an industry leader, 10,000 AIR MILES® reward miles, a profile in Canadian Business magazine, a one-year subscription to Canadian Business magazine and a plaque honouring their achievement.

In addition, Dragons’ Den’s Kevin O’Leary delivered a keynote address, and panel discussions featured industry leaders from Twitter Canada, Facebook Canada, Google Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal, LoyaltyOne, American Express Canada, e8ight Marketing & Technology, and Industry Canada’s Department of Small Business, Tourism and Marketplace Services.


The awards ceremony, conference and luncheon took place on February 24, 2014, at the Toronto Board of Trade.


ENTRANTS & WINNERS – The competitive field consisted of businesses across the country, ranging from start-ups to established enterprises, from cutting-edge tech companies to traditional businesses, from 1 employee to 50.

JUDGES – Award winners were determined by a judging panel made up of top Canadian executives, featuring: Kevin O’Leary of TV’s Dragons’ Den and Chairman of O’Leary Funds; LoyaltyOne’s President & CEO, Bryan Pearson; Steve Matyas, President of Staples; American Express Canada VP & GM of Small Business Services, Athena Varmazis; and Neil Hornsby, Director of Marketing for Best Western International.

MENTORS – Each award winner received a once-in-a-lifetime mentoring session with one of several business leaders, including: Kevin O’Leary; Howard Grosfield, President & CEO of American Express Canada; Best Western Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Dorothy Dowling; Bryan Pearson and Steve Matyas.

Learn more about the winners!

Small Business of the Year

Small Business of the Year Toronto’s North Strategic earns top honours at AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Awards

Start-up of the Year

Start-up of the Year Cheers to Village Brewery, winner of an AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Award!

Innovation of the Year

Innovation of the YearOrder’s up! Digital menu service, Menyou, earns an AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Award

Social Impact of the Year

Social Impact of the Year North Shore Sports Medicine keeps community at its heart to earn an AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Award

Youth Entrepreneur of the Year

Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Matt Hill earned his AIR MILES Small Business Achievement Award, one lawn at a time!

Stay tuned to airmiles.ca/business for information about next year’s awards program! »

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