From 20 May to 20 August, Défi48 travelled to seven different cities across Quebec to meet the next generation of entrepreneurs. Organised by Apprends & Entreprends, Défi48 is a competition designed to get young professionals out of their comfort zone by taking a real step into the business world. As a committed partner, Rio Tinto was a member of the jury for the third year running. This is an important contribution for Rio Tinto’s Regional Economic Development (RED) team, which helps build the businesses of tomorrow by providing support, advice and expertise to young entrepreneurs.
In an effort to optimise and improve the event, the Défi48 team went back to the drawing board for this third edition, crowned with success. “The second year was the seed of what Défi48 has grown into today,” said Charles-Antoine Hallé, Director and Co-designer of Défi48. “We already had a solid foundation for the third year, but we wanted to standardise and optimise the competition stages to delegate and focus on our growth and future. We also wanted to be more present with our partners.”
The framework of the project, which was already well established, remained the same. Teams had to set up a business, make it profitable and grow it in 48 hours, all with just a single dollar. “The qualifying rounds are very similar to the first edition, but the way the final round is run has changed completely. Instead of being a race for profit and commercialisation, the final focuses on sustainability for long-term learning. Being an entrepreneur also means dealing with human resources, strategic planning and financial management. Our final challenges focused on these topics, and our final did not factor in profits,” added Hallé.
The various challenges were also adapted to current issues. They acted as a springboard for the projects to carry on after the competition. One of the challenges was to create a communication plan and to draft content to be published in the following month.
The judges were also called upon more frequently during the final round, emphasising the importance of providing an external, more subjective point of view to improve the projects. “Over the two days, we met with the teams three times to give them recommendations from an outsider’s point of view. Défi48 was an opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise, but also to put Rio Tinto on the map. We’re also pleased to be able to continue to support the teams after the challenge to ensure their projects live on,” said Luc Cyrenne, Project Director for RED.
Rio Tinto presented the youngest team in the competition with a $1,500 New Entrepreneur Award for their good work. To this day, RED continues to work with the team to help the young entrepreneurs bring their projects to life.
Going forward, the challenge will be to remain a leading event in Quebec to help foster young entrepreneurial talent.
The 3rd edition in numbers
- Participants: 197
- Companies launched: 32
- Companies continuing their activities after Défi48: 6
- Prizes and awards: $22,550
- Total profits: $161,907
- Total sales revenue: $224,012
- Reach (visibility on social and traditional media): 474,924 people
Bottom thumbnail for photo: The Ball-O-Shot team, winners of the Rio Tinto New Entrepreneur Award, worth $1,500.