P.J. Gardiner 2023 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Gazette Article

P.J. Gardiner 2023 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Gazette Article - Latest News - Brigus Capital

Entrepreneur Wade Dawe and public sector leader Julia Mullaley will be honoured by Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration at its 36th annual Partners Celebration.


The event takes place on Thursday, June 15, at the Emera Innovation Exchange, Signal Hill Campus.


Two business students, Belle Steinhauer and Mohammed Bashir, will receive awards for their contributions to student and university life through volunteerism and their demonstrated ability to apply academic experience in a real-world context.


Entrepreneur of the year
Mr. Dawe (B.Comm.(Co-op.)’92), president of Brigus Capital Inc., will receive the P.J. Gardiner 2023 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


He’s originally from Kelligrews, N.L., but now lives in Halifax, N.S.


A venture capitalist, entrepreneur and investor, Mr. Dawe played a pivotal role in the founding and success of a number of companies across a variety of sectors as a financier and company founder.


Recently, he founded Torrent Capital, which partnered with the Port of Argentia in 2022 to transform it into a national hub for green energy initiatives.


“Being chosen as the winner of this award is meaningful to me, and I consider it a privilege to receive it and be recognized and listed among our province’s most notable business leaders,” he said.


Mr. Dawe is a fellow of the Creative Destruction Lab at Dalhousie University, through which he mentors young entrepreneurs.


He’s committed to supporting the next generation of business leaders and is establishing a scholarship program at Dalhousie for Black students in honour of his close friend, Senator Don Oliver.


At Memorial, Mr. Dawe has served on the president’s advisory committee and the business faculty’s advisory board.


‘Decided to pay it forward’

He also established an annual $10,000 award at Memorial’s business faculty that supports student entrepreneurs.


To date, the James R. Pearcey Award for Entrepreneurship has gifted more than $133,000 to Memorial students.


“From an early age and during my time at Memorial, I was quite active as a young entrepreneur pursuing new business ideas and opportunities,” he said. “I remember how great I felt when I received a scholarship in recognition of my entrepreneurial pursuits. That was a big deal for me so I decided to pay it forward.


“Memorial University is incredibly important to Newfoundland and Labrador and for the future economic health of the province,” Mr. Dawe added. “In recent years, the business faculty significantly increased its focus on encouraging young entrepreneurs and startups and this is vitally important. There will always be new and exciting business opportunities to pursue, and Memorial is fostering a culture to inspire creativity so students dive in and pursue their own business interests.”

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