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Rise Entrepreneurship Awards

Applications and nominations are now closed and will open again in Spring 2021.

About the Awards


The Rise Entrepreneurship Awards is our signature event of the year, bringing together the entire community of Rise to honour and celebrate the outstanding achievements of our clients and volunteers.

About the Award Recipients


Recipients have either demonstrated entrepreneurial excellence in running their own business or have helped owners during their launch and growth.

Rise Clients: We focus on perseverance in the face of challenges you’ve encountered. You use your small business to build self-confidence.

Rise Volunteers: We look for dedication to the mission and vision of Rise. You embody the values that form the basis of our belief that volunteers are fundamental to 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. They have made smart and sound decisions when it comes to their business planning. Their story is one to be applauded and celebrated, and can stand as an example to follow.
Dr. Paul Garfinkel Resilience Award: For the entrepreneur that has overcome significant pitfalls and challenges (either personal or business). They have grit and perseverance and don’t take “no” for an answer. While every Rise client has their own personal challenges, the Resilience Award winner goes further than others in achieving their goals.
Start-up: For the first-time entrepreneur dipping their toes into small business ownership. They have done their homework and research, and diligently planned their launch. They’ve already had some initial success, and have a clear sightline into where their future lies.
Volunteer of the Year: For the Rise volunteer who has gone above and beyond for Rise clients and the organization. Their tireless dedication to the Rise mission and their contributions to individual clients is a clear example of exemplary service.

Application & Nomination Guidelines


  • Rise clients must have received a loan from Rise, or have completed a Rise Youth or Peer Training Program prior to December 2019.
  • Rise volunteers must be nominated by a Rise client.
  • Previous Honourable Mentions may apply again.
  • Previous Award winners will not be considered.

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

Important Dates


September 8:Submission deadline
September 28:Applications reviewed by the Awards Committee
October 5:Applicants and Nominees will be notified
November 30:Rise Entrepreneurship Awards – a virtual event