Government is offering Nova Scotia students an opportunity to work with a business mentor and receive $1,000 to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into reality. The province, in partnership with the Business Education Council, is inviting students in Grades Six to 12 in Nova Scotia public schools to apply for the first Minister’s Entrepreneurship Award of Excellence. “An entrepreneurial mindset can be further fostered in the classroom and supported in our communities,” said Zach Churchill Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “Our entrepreneurs are innovators and risk takers who help us make Nova Scotia stronger and grow our economy. I’m very pleased to work with schools and the business community to encourage the development of young entrepreneurs.” The Business Education Council was established in 2015 to create a link between government and business leaders and provide more positive and productive career exploration opportunities for students. This includes career awareness events and symposiums, and the promotion of entrepreneurship. The council is made up of business leaders, entrepreneurs, government and post-secondary representation, and education. “It is in all our best interest that today’s youth have good career opportunities that lead to great futures here in Nova Scotia,” said Calvin Gosse, chair of the Business Education Council. “When our youth have a bright future, we all have a bright future. It is extremely important for the future economic growth of our province that the business community actively engage with students to create a two-way understanding of what each requires.” In the classroom, students from Grades Six to 12 are gaining opportunities to learn about the world of business and exploring their entrepreneurial spirit. “Entrepreneurship 12 teaches students how important entrepreneurs are to our economy in Nova Scotia and about entrepreneurial success stories in the province,” said Tiffany Sparks, Entrepreneurship 12 teacher at Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth. “The course helps students to realize that this is a possibility for their own future.” Three awards will be given to students that exhibit entrepreneurial pursuits in technology, innovation and creativity, and social enterprise. Students can apply online individually or as a small group by submitting an application that includes a budget and a brief pitch presentation, video or business plan, to be considered by members of the Business Education Council. Three finalists in each category will move on to a pitch competition held in spring 2018. The three winners will be awarded $1,000 each and be given the opportunity to work with a mentor to advance their proposal. The application deadline is Feb. 26, 2018. To apply, visit https://novascotia.ca/entrepreneuraward/.