|Quebec's Young Entrepreneur|
Twenty-seven year old David Lauzon of Papineauville, Quebec near Ottawa, is truly a remarkable Achiever: the youngest of eight children, David lost a leg in a motorcycle accident when he was 17 years old. But he didn't let that deter him from becoming successful.
"My parents were very encouraging and that was a very important factor in my success. I was a very mature 21 year old, and when I saw my friends going off to university to spend four years getting an engineering degree or whatever, I was busy working to save money to buy my own business."
David saved up $5,000 and rented a sawmill that was involved mainly in turning raw lumber into wood flooring. In five years he built "David Lauzon Limited" from annual sales of $100,000 to a projected $3 million in 1991, making him Papineauville's second largest employer.
His business acumen was recognized by the Federal Business Development Bank on October 17, 1990 in Toronto when David was awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award for Quebec. The 12 winners, one from each Province and Territory, received their awards at the launching of 1990's Small Business Week.
Born in Notre-Dame-de-Ia-Paix, David is that town's most successful son. In selecting him, the jury could not overlook David's remarkable entrepreneurial spirit. His mill's system of production is organized in such a way that all scrap is recovered and no waste is dumped into the environment. Since launching his business, David has captured almost 60 percent of the local market.
"I know we are experiencing bad market conditions today but we are keeping our heads up and know that things will return to normal soon. The world needs wood products and we are looking after our local markets too."
Which does not mean David will limit his scope to sales in Montreal and Toronto, but hopes to one day sell in foreign countries such as England and China. The wood flooring mill sells to wholesalers, homeowners and contractors who install and varnish floors.
David is well known in Papineauville for his involvement in social and community activities. Every year he participates in a summer job creation program for the disabled. He contributes to local assistance campaigns and is active in the Chamber of Commerce and business groups in his area.
When I asked his advice to other handicapped persons who want to go into business? He replied simply:
"I begin work at 5 a.m. and I work until 7 or 8 p.m. every day but Sunday. I guess my advice would be to work, work, work."
David Lauzon, a credit to his community and indeed a credit to Canada. We need more young entrepreneurs like him. He's another Canadian Achiever.
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