National Bank and the École d'Entrepreneurship de Beauce Present the first National Bank Award to Robert Michaud

Montreal, 8 February 2012 - 

On February 2, National Bank and the École d'Entrepreneurship de Beauce (EEB) presented the first National Bank Award to Robert Michaud, President of Ramp-Art and one of EEB’s student entrepreneurs. The Award and the accompanying $10,000 were presented at an event attended by graduates of the first session, EEB administrators and National Bank representatives.

The objective of the National Bank Award, created in 2011 as part of an annual bursary program for EEB’s budding entrepreneurs that is supported by National Bank, is to help winners make their start-up dreams a reality, putting the knowledge they have acquired at EEB into practice. Ramp-Art, Robert Michaud’s railing manufacturing company located in Lévis, was chosen out of a total of six entries. Michaud’s strategy of implementing a new production cost program was judged most likely to generate expected gains. “In the medium term, this program will allow us to conduct a more detailed analysis of our financial results and thus increase profitability and maximize operations efficiency. Eventually, our company will become even more competitive,” explained Michaud. “The projected results allow us to forecast a sustained growth in sales of 15% in 2012, and the creation of five full-time jobs,” he added.

By launching an annual bursary program, the EEB and National Bank have taken a concrete step in supporting entrepreneurs and the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. “EEB equips its student entrepreneurs with the tools they need to set future goals for their businesses. The bursary offered by National bank helps to fund these ambitions. We are very proud of this partnership with the Bank, which is exemplified by the awarding of the first National Bank Award,” stated Marc Dutil, Founding President of the EEB.

“The creation of the National Bank Award is a testament to National Bank’s desire to contribute to the vitality of Quebec’s business community,” said Diane Déry, Vice-President – Commercial Banking for Quebec City and Eastern Quebec, National Bank. “We firmly believe that Quebec businesses play a key role in the economic health of our community. As a bank that is committed to helping small and medium-sized businesses, we use various means to offer them the support they need to thrive.”

The National Bank Award is presented twice a year—one award for each session at EEB. The award is given by a jury to the investment project deemed to have the best growth strategy.

Every year, through its donations and sponsorships program and the initiatives of its employees, National Bank helps support hundreds of organizations across Canada. It focuses primarily on four main areas of activity—health, education, arts and culture, and community outreach—with the goal of generating positive benefits for communities.

For more information on the many causes and events National Bank supports as part of its commitment to the communities it serves, please consult our social responsibility report at www.nbc.ca/socialresponsibility.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group that provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. National Bank had over CDN$156 billion in assets as at October 31, 2011, according to Canadian GAAP, and, together with its subsidiaries, employs over 19,000 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at
www.nbc.ca. To access National Bank’ s financial education portal, visitwww.clearfacts.ca.

Information
(The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.):

Joan Beauchamp
Senior Advisor, Public Affairs
National Bank
Tel.: 514 394-6500