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About Win Your Space YK


Win downtown storefront in Yellowknife for one year!

About Win Your Space YK

Now in its 3rd edition, Win Your Space YK is a business incubation competition aimed at inspiring Yellowknifers to start or expand their business, while supporting the revitalization of our downtown. Since 2017, 5 new businesses have opened downtown Yellowknife as a result of Win Your Space YK. 

How does it work?

Residents of Yellowknife, Dettah and N'dilo over the age of 18 can submit their business ideas and a panel of judges will select up to 10 semi-finalists to proceed to the next round of the competition.  These 10 semi-finalists will participate in free business development workshops, including business plan writing and financial management training. Finalists will also learn how to pitch their business. The semi-finalists will develop and submit their business plans, and the Jury will select 5 finalists to advance to the Grand Finale. At the Grand Finale, the top 5 finalists will pitch their business to the Jury in true Dragon's Den style, and the Grand Prize Winner wins one year of free leased space in downtown Yellowknife, and many more prizes. The Grand Prize winner will be able to choose their location from the list of participating spaces. In addition the Grand Prize Winner will be fast tracked to receive up to $10,000 in start-up money under BDIC's Business Development Project Fund!

Win Your Space YK Process graphic - caption below

  • Submit your business idea in a short video before May 23 to
    • Jury selects up to ten Semi-finalists to advance to the next phase and receive free business development workshops in June
  • Semi-finalists write business plan, submit before July 28
    • Jury reviews business plans and chooses five finalists to participate in a live finale. Finalists have the opportunity to submit additional documents based on Jury feedback. 
  • Live grand finale 5 finalists pitch their business to the jury on August 15
    • Finalists make a short presentation and answer questions from the Jury.
  • Grand prize winner is announced, winning one year of free space and many more prizes
    • Jury will also select a 2nd and 3rd place winner.
  • Opening your space - after the finale. The grade prize winner:
    • Chooses a space from the list of participating locations in Yellowknife
    • Negotiates a minimum one year lease agreement with landlord starting November 1 at the latest. Aims to do a Grand opening in the first quarter of 2020 or earlier.
    • Fast tracked under BDIC's BDPF contribution up to $10,000
    • More prizes: finalists will receive certificates of all prizes explaining how to redeem.

Continuous support: applicants and finalists are encouraged to approach Win Your Space YK partners any time before, during or after the competition for help with their business plan. 

Visit for more info.

Partners and Sponsors

Win Your Space YK is a partnership between the City of Yellowknife, Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation (NWT BDIC) and the Government of the Northwest Territories - Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Check out our full list of 2019 Partners and Sponsors.

About past editions

2018 Win your space YK graphic, caption below

2018 Edition

1 year of free leased space in Downtown Yellowknife + More prizes

  • 13 semi-finalists
  • 5 finalists
  • 3 winners
  • 1 grand prize winner

2203 visits to

Semi-finalists experience
  • 100% said WYS supported the development of their business idea
  • 100% rated the prize package good or excellent
  • 100% rated business development workshops good or excellent
  • 100% reached out to competition experts for help with their business plan
  • 100% are continuing with their business plan
  • 100% rated networking opportunities good or excellent
Aspects that were rated good or excellent
  • 80% promotion for their business
  • 80% interaction with other finalists
  • 60% feedback from the jury
  • 60% learnings beneficial
More statistics
  • 80% of semi-finalists rated business development workshops as the number one benefit
  • 2044 views on semi-finalist videos
  • 195 people voted for the people's choice award
  • 5 new stores in downtown Yellowknife since 2017

* Results taken from survey issued to contest applicants, potential landlords, and semi-finalists. Percentages indicate feedback received. 


Hours of Operation

Winter Hours effective following the Labour Day Weekend
until prior to the Victoria Day Weekend (September to May)
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Summer Hours effective following the Victoria Day Weekend
until prior to the Labour Day Weekend (May to September)
Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Mailing Address & Phone Numbers

Yellowknife City Hall
4807 - 52 Street, P.O. Box 580, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2N4

Switchboard - (867) 920-5600
Mayor/City Manager - (867) 920-5634
Booking Clerk - (867) 669-3457
Municipal Enforcement (MED) - (867) 920-5630
After Hours (MED) - (867) 920-2737
After Hours (Public Works) - (867) 920-5699