The Canadian Youth Business Foundation has selected 30 dynamic young Canadian entrepreneurs to form the official Canadian delegation at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit (G20 YES) in Nice, France on October 31-November 2, 2011. The G20 YES is an annual international summit that brings together dedicated and influential entrepreneurs of the G20 countries. Barbara McLean-Stollery is a Canadian delegate.
Why did I become an entrepreneur:
Originally, I did not plan to become an entrepreneur. However, with the downturn of my industry after September 11, 2011, being a professional pilot was not an option. I began to work for an aircraft grooming and detailing company in order to help pay for school to become an Aircraft Mechanical Engineer. I figured if I could not fly airplanes than I would fix them. Instead, I bought the company. My boss (soon to be my mentor) offered to sell me his business as he was ready to retire and I seemed like the perfect fit to take it over. In 2005 with money borrowed from CYBF, AWE, BDC, friends, family and everything I had (not very much), I entered into entrepreneurship. I worked hard creating new systems for running my business while keeping the integrity of the company that had existed for 25 years. We have grown immensely starting with a small staff at one location to an operation that now exists at several airports in Alberta.
My best moment as an entrepreneur, my success:
There are many moments that I consider rewarding as an entrepreneur. One of the key moments that keeps me inspired is when I paid off all of the money I borrowed to purchase Executive Airways Grooming Services. I really felt like I had done it, I was a success.
My next challenge:
We have just expanded into other airport markets. Although I like to believe that I have a great understanding of Calgary’s aviation community, learning the separate characteristics of the new airports will be challenging. I look forward to meeting these challenges and growing my business. It will be exciting to see how the characteristics of the new locations change the way I do business.