A Surrey and a Delta business owner were rewarded for their entrepreneurial endeavors at the annual Douglas College Self Employment Program Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on October 19th, during small business week.
Sanjana Khaira, from Surrey, received the Canadian Youth Business Foundation’s Youth Entrepreneur Award. Sanjana has a vision to be the premier name in providing effective, affordable and personalized quality legal services aimed at meeting the needs of our local population, specifically Indo-Fijians and local home and business owners. Her firm, Sanjana Khaira Law Corporation is one of the only firms in the lower mainland that specifically caters to the needs of the local Indo-Fijian population. They practice in the areas of personal injury, general civil litigation including collections, immigration, and basic corporate/commercial law including contract disputes. With three lower mainland locations, they look forward to continually serving their clientele with professionalism, compassion and integrity.
Who would have thought that in just 7 months from starting her business the City of New Westminster Service Award winner, Terryl Plotnikoff, would find herself managing 12 employees, fielding calls from across Canada and looking to expand? Plotnikoff’s business, Canadian Mattress Recycling, in Delta, opened its doors for business January 2011, and has grown exponentially. They recycle mattresses for some of the most popular mattress retailers and high-end hotels, as well as the City of Surrey, one of Canada’s largest and fastest-growing municipalities. Having developed customized programs to help their commercial clients reduce both their solid waste fees and their environmental footprint, they have given their clients a way to stay within budget and move toward sustainability. Vancouver’s Zero Waste Challenge is one they take very seriously with their company recycling almost 100% of the material which comes through their doors.
Also recognized as Finalists at the Awards were two Surrey business owners.
Amarvir Singh Rai, of Amarvir Rai Law Office, was a finalist for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation Youth Entrepreneur Award. His company provides a wide range of legal services.
Francisco Harp was an Alliance Printing Perseverance Award finalist. His company, Jelly Delight Desserts Inc. is the first ready-to-eat gelatin dessert on the Canadian market, with a large variety of shapes and flavors.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards recognizes graduates of the Douglas College Self Employment Program, 2011 marked the sixteenth year of the program and 3,300 businesses launched. This year, 27 finalists were nominated for awards in nine categories, plus the overall winner. The celebrations were held at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam, and were attended by over 400 program alumni and special guests.
For more information on the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and the Douglas College Self Employment Program, please visit their website at www.douglascollege.ca/selfemployment.