Got a great business idea? You could win free rent in downtown Yellowknife for a year

In just two to five minutes, one lucky entrepreneur could convince the City of Yellowknife to give them free rent downtown for a year.

'Win your Space,' a contest launched by the City of Yellowknife this month, is awarding a free 12-month lease downtown to the person who presents them with the best new business idea.

The winner will choose one of 11 downtown locations to operate out of, worth a value of up to $4,000 in rent a month — $48,000 for the full year.

In a short, two- to five-minute video, participants are asked to make their best pitch on what business they would like to bring downtown.

Stephanie Vandeputte, an economic development and communications officer with the City, says the pilot project is from the community, for the community.

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"In 2015, we undertook the Business Incentive Strategy, and from that, we learned the commercial vacancy rate downtown is actually a lot higher than the rest of Yellowknife," she said.

"That, as well as [supporting] council's goals and priorities... we wanted to support the business community, support entrepreneurs, while supporting the downtown revitalization."

Particpants must be over 19 years old, and must be a legal resident of Yellowknife, Dettah or N'dilo in order to be eligible to win the contest.

While franchises and restaurants aren't eligible to apply, the City will accept proposals from current business owners if their pitch is unrelated to their existing business and they don't already work downtown.

The contest closes the evening of May 28.