York student named as Canada’s top student entrepreneur

Some would call it a sweet success.

Canada’s top young entrepreneur is a student from York University’s Schulich School of Business who has parlayed a fondness for chocolate into a rapidly growing chain of candy shops.

Schulich undergraduate student Joseph Moncada has been named the national champion of the 2008 Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) student entrepreneur competition.

Above: Joseph Moncada, a fourth-year student in the International BBA Program at York’s Schulich School of Business, is the winner of the 2008 Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship student entrepreneur competition

A fourth-year student about to graduate from Schulich’s International BBA Program, Moncada is the founder and owner of Sweet Tooth Candy Emporium. The two-year-old business, which has three locations in Ontario and employs 25 people, sells rare and imported sweets and chocolates. The company, which started as a summer project through the Ontario Government’s Summer Company program, is looking to expand in the coming year.

"For me, this competition was not solely about winning money but rather about introducing Sweet Tooth to a new community," says Moncada. "It has further facilitated my growth and introduced me to new connections that will hopefully last a lifetime."

On May 14, a panel of more than 30 top Canadian executives selected Moncada from among a number of other full-time students across Canada who have successfully started their own businesses while pursuing an academic degree. Another Schulich undergraduate student, Lawrence Krimker, also competed in the national finals. Krimker shared top spot with Moncada in the ACE Ontario Student Entrepreneur championship that took place this spring (For the complete story, see the April 16, 2008 issue of YFile).

"Every year we continue to be amazed by the number of thriving businesses being operated by full-time university or college students throughout Canada," says ACE President Amy Harder. "These young leaders exemplify exactly what ACE is aiming to do across the country – to be a leading youth entrepreneurship organization that is fueling the next generation of Canadian business leaders and entrepreneurs."

As national winner, Moncada received a $10,000 cash prize and will now represent Canada at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards taking place in Chicago later this fall.

Founded in the mid-1980s, ACE is a national charitable not-for-profit organization that works with young Canadians to create brighter futures for themselves and their communities. ACE provides postsecondary students with the opportunity to gain entrepreneurial and leadership skills outside of the classroom, through a team-based program, Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), and an individual-based program, Student Entrepreneur.