CBU Business Students Pitch to Canada’s Top CEOs

Four Cape Breton University (CBU) business students have been short-listed to the semi-finalist stage of the Walmart Green Student Challenge. Later this month, Stephanie MacLean, Kurt Boone, Andrew Weatherbee and Omar Hassan El-Arnaoudy will travel to Toronto, Ont. to pitch their environmentally sustainable business plan to some of Canada’s top CEOs, while competing to win a share of $100,000 in prize money.  

Walmart Green Chellenge Top 5 semifinalistsThe CBU team entered the competition as part of a project assigned in their sustainable marketing class. Dr. Sherry Finney asked students to develop environmentally sustainable business plans, for course marks, and submit them to the challenge. Out of 81 submissions from across the country, the CBU team was chosen as a top 5 semi-finalist; the only finalists residing in Eastern Canada. Other finalists include representation from the University of Calgary, University of Western Ontario, University of Waterloo and York University.

“This is an incredible success for both the students and the Shannon School of Business as a whole,” says Shannon School of Business Dean, John Mackinnon. “It further demonstrates our commitment to top quality education and encouraging opportunities for our students. The calibre of our programs and the individuals graduating from them is outstanding. This is proven time and time again by the continuous accomplishments and national recognition of the Shannon School of Business, its faculty and its students.”

CBU’s team is pitching to an impressive panel of judges that comprises of Shelley Broader, President and CEO of Walmart Canada; John Guarino, President of Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada; John LeBoutillier, President of Unilever Canada; Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods; and Peter Robinson, CEO of The David Suzuki Foundation.

“This is a great opportunity and experience for the students, and while I’m confident that the students will succeed, having access to such accomplished business professionals is rewarding in and of itself,” says MacKinnon.

The Walmart Green Student Challenge is a business plan competition targeted towards post-secondary students. For the challenge, competitors are asked to detail a new, environmentally sustainable way, of doing business. Submissions must have a strong business case and a significant sustainability benefit while being original and easy to implement.  The individuals/teams responsible for the five best business plans then travel to Toronto, Ont., on February 29, to present their ideas to a panel of Canada's top CEOs at the TMX Broadcast Centre.

The Shannon School of Business is dedicated to ensuring its students are prepared to pursue opportunities in a wide variety of fields, including some of the fastest-growing and high-demand professions. The Walmart Green Student Challenge recognition is one of many that demonstrate how the Shannon School of Business lives up to its high standards.