We’re proud to feature this week’s front-page story about the accomplishment of Patrick Shannon, winner of 2015’s Young Aboriginal Entrepreneur Award.
We congratulate Mr. Shannon not only for winning a BC Aboriginal Business Award, but for the category in which he won. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 68 percent of new jobs are created by small and medium-sized ventures. While big business tends to shed jobs, young, small firms run by entrepreneurs is where job growth is most evident. Being an entrepreneur requires a variety of skills: drive, persistence, passion, patience, and, of course, hard work. On Haida Gwaii, it’s not simply business that’s needed to revitalize the economy, but entrepreneurial thinking to drive it.
This is why his award for entrepreneurship is so notable. It’s a way of thinking, where you don’t assume someone else is going to provide a solution for your needs. Where you look for and take a competitive advantage in terms of how you’re going to accomplish something. A lot of people interchange small business and entrepreneurship regularly. But the two concepts need to be separated. Small business is how many entrepreneurs start, but that doesn’t have to be the only destination. Entrepreneurial thinking as relevant from positions of government leadership, down to community planning and any aspect of society that requires solutions.
Mr. Shannon attracted the attention of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation for two principal projects. One was his media venture in web design, videography and photography—he not only laid the foundation for his own business, but looked forward to envision its growth. He knows, and we agree, business potential on the islands cannot and will not be bogged down be dreadful bandwidth capacity forever, not in this day and age. Once it’s corrected, he foresees access to markets behind Haida Gwaii, bringing business onto the islands remotely, helping push a new industry forward: “Once we hurdle that, really, the sky’s the limit,” he says.
“I see Haida Gwaii being the media and technology hub of Northern B.C.”
His other venture is the newly opened Xaayda Hub in Skideagte, a place where others can rent professional work space to get their own ideas off the ground.
In both cases, Mr. Shannon isn’t just carving out a business for himself, but facilitating business growth for the community at large.
Nicely done, sir.