Financial Post: Kicking Horse Coffee

YEA's focus turns to innovative projects

Financial Post

Jean-René Halde, is president and chief executive of Business Development Bank of Canada ( BDC offers financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and mid-sized companies

In my role at the Business Development Bank of Canada, I meet lots of young entrepreneurs in every part of the country. When I ask why they’re in business, the reply invariably is that they love the freedom of being their own boss and they want to make a difference.

To turn their dream into reality, they have to build a business from the ground up, often starting with little more than hard work, ingenuity and determination. They relish the challenge and take pride in seeing customers respond to what they have created...

For Elana Rosenfeld and her husband, Leo Johnson, that means leaving their Kicking Horse Coffee Co. in the interior of British Columbia for up to a month at a time to travel to Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and other countries to buy coffee from farmers’ co-ops. They have nurtured strong relationships in these countries that are crucial to the success of both local communities and their company in Canada. It’s working: Kicking Horse is now the leading organic fair trade coffee company in Canada, selling about 1.4 million kilograms a year.

Martell and Rosenfeld and Johnson are former winners of BDC Young Entrepreneur Awards. Today, marks the launch of the 2012 award competition with a bold, new format that shines an even brighter spotlight on Canada’s best young entrepreneurs.

Financial Post