Cape Breton Entrepreneurs Finalists For National Awards

Two successful Cape Breton businesswomen have been chosen as finalists in the 2011 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards from a field of over 3000 nominees. The awards recognize strong entrepreneurial vision, relentless passion and those who are positive role models for young women.

Earlene Busch, owner of Chanterelle Country Inn and Cottages in St. Ann’s on the Cabot Trail and Lisa Boudreau of Arichat, N.S., co-founder of Caper Gas and the founder of the Home Grown Rewards Program, will be in Toronto, Ont., on November 28 for the National Awards Dinner. Busch and Boudreau are the only finalists selected from Nova Scotia and two of three Atlantic Canadian finalists. 

The Small Business Development Centre at CBU’s Shannon School of Business has worked closely with both finalists and Director Mary Jane Morrison is proud to have nominated the two as both have contributed their time and knowledge as volunteer speakers at the Centre’s Women in Business events. “At the Centre we strive to create and foster the spirit of entrepreneurism, and Earlene and Lisa live and breathe that spirit everyday as they sustain and grow their businesses, employ local people, buy local products and willingly share their talent and enthusiasm to motivate others to become entrepreneurs,” says Morrison.

Lisa Boudreau and her husband Brian created Caper Gas in 2008 as a result of the exodus of large gas suppliers out of rural Nova Scotia. “We strive to create fairness in our business practises and offer business models that improve profit margins: thereby making a difference, not simply a profit,” says Boudreau. “Promoting excellent sales and service and maintaining close ties to the communities served are important to the development of Caper Gas.”  In 2010 Lisa was chosen as “Business Woman of the Year” at the annual Cape Breton Women in Business Awards Dinner and Conference sponsored by ECBC.  Boudreau has been selected as a finalist for the PROFIT Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship.

Earlene Busch, a finalist for the TPH Sustainability Award, opened her business in 2000 to provide an upscale “green” accommodation to travelers seeking a restful and healthy environment.   She employs five people full-time on a seasonal basis.  The restaurant celebrates the “Bounty of Cape Breton” and strives to provide a “150 km” cuisine by using locally sourced ingredients. Growers, fishers, farmers and wineries are listed on the nightly menus. Its other sustainability practices include the installation of solar panels, recycling, pre-cycling, and avoidance of chemicals and fragrances. “Within the community, I am proud that we contribute to the economy by providing jobs, buying directly from growers, fishers and berry pickers, and by using the works of its artists and crafts people,” says Busch. She was the 2009 winner of the Innovation Award at the Cape Breton Women in Business Annual Awards Dinner and Conference.

“In Canada there are 821,000 self-employed women contributing 18 billion dollars to the Canadian economy. Two of the best examples of that dynamic business group reside here in Cape Breton and their efforts have brought them national recognition,” says Morrison. “We are extremely proud to be associated with many dedicated women entrepreneurs on this Island. We will continue to nominate women in business from Cape Breton as there are many deserving candidates. Lisa and Earlene are an inspiration and motivation to achieve the goals we set and the dreams we have.”

For more information on the 2011 RCB Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Gala visit www.theawards.ca.