Applications are still being accepted for the Fusion Credit Union business pitch idea competition, Community Infusion, which is much like Dragon's Den or Shark Tank.

The deadline for applications is coming up quickly, midnight June 16th.

This is the 4th consecutive year for this granting initiative that infuses economic growth and prosperity into local communities.

Entrepreneurs with a new business idea or an existing business owner who is wanting to grow their business, expand or relocate to a new location might want to get in on this timely opportunity.

Selected applicants will move to the second phase of the competition which will require a business plan submission. Up to five finalists will then be selected to pitch their idea to a panel of judges in front of a live audience on Wednesday, October 23, 2024, for a chance to share in up to $30,000.00 in financial grants.

“At Fusion, we are Here for Good, and to us, that means we are committed to our communities today and for the long term,” says CEO Darwin Johns. “We are proud to offer Community Infusion for a fourth year as a tangible means of sparking ongoing economic development in our communities across the province.”

Mike Csversko, Business Development Manager for Fusion notes that, “Community impact is a foundational pillar for our organization. As a locally based financial institution in the Parkland and Southwestern Manitoba, we consider community impact and contribution to be at the core of our DNA. The Community Infusion initiative is one more way in which Fusion will play a role in supporting job creation, entrepreneurial support, community engagement, and business development in our trading area.”

Csversko says they can receive up to 25 applications each year for annual competition, but it's not about the quantity of applications as much as it is about the quality of the business prospect, and the plan that goes with it.

"It's really about the quality of the applications that come in and the viability of the business, should they win to move forward, to really have an impact in their communities, and that's hence the name, Community Infusion.  We really want this money to go into the communities to create jobs, to create employment, and to really spur on economic development."

Reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce or Community Futures is a resource worth seeking out in order to best prepare for the competition and that includes putting together a business plan that is well-detailed.

Csversko says the business plan is crucial to looking at starting or building a business.  How viable is your business idea?  How much debt is required? How much impact does this have on your community? Is there job creation for your community in your plan?

"One that is sometimes overlooked is the personality of the person who is pitching and that entrepreneur as well," he explains. "We like to work with these people going forward so whoever the winner is we follow up with them throughout the next couple of years of their journey.  And we're looking for somebody to really be a good partner with us in terms of both representing Fusion, Community Infusion, and as we also promote their business going forward as well. So, that personability plays a big role in it and we believe that's also a big part of entrepreneurship too. You need to be open minded, involved in your community, willing to take some advice sometimes. And just really having a positive attitude, because we know that entrepreneurship is not an easy route."

Past winners of Community Infusion include Dusty’s Butcher Shop from Dauphin, Fierce Female Hockey from Brandon, and Danielle’s Studio 12 from Rivers.

Please listen to more with Mike Csversko below!

Full details regarding the competition can be found at