Most small business owners will tell you that entrepreneurship is in their blood – that the drive, ambition and desire to take control of their careers is a part of them. For Tim Burke and Stephen Hankinson, entrepreneurship was hereditary.
With both their fathers owning and running their own businesses, Tim and Stephen knew what to expect from the entrepreneurial world, and always knew that one day they would follow in their footsteps.
Their inspiration to launch Quark Engineering and Development Inc. – an engineering firm specializing in creative problem solving, high-innovation, early stage product and technology development – came when the two were working together at an innovation and design lab in Nova Scotia. Recognizing that by working for someone else, there was little room to explore their own business ideas and inventions, they made the decision go out on their own. The two have never looked back.
“Becoming entrepreneurs has given us the opportunity to pursue our dreams, the freedom to launch additional companies or take advantage of other opportunities and the ability to balance the pursuit of what we love without taking away from our family time,” says Tim, who adds that he is continuing the small business ownership tradition by teaching his children to become future entrepreneurial leaders.
“The world is changing fast and Canada needs to change with it. As a country, we need to develop products and companies that are competitive around the world and generate export wealth. To do that, we need entrepreneurs.”