The grass isn't always greener on the other side, in fact, it's about as green as it can get, right here in Saskatchewan. That's Justin Yawney's belief as well as a growing number of young entrepreneurs who are opting to live, work and call Saskatchewan their home.
Born and raised in Yorkton, Yawney, like many others have done, set out for Alberta in search of greener pastures. He completed his schooling at SAIT but after spending some time in the province he decided there was no place like home.
This is the new Saskatchewan...
In his late 20's the call of friends, family and a higher quality of lifestyle brought Yawney back to Yorkton and he hasn't looked back. In 2007 the young entrepreneur started up Yorkton Plumbing and Heating. Now 34, he has since turned a one man operation into a staff of about 35 with a fleet of over 29 trucks, serving Yorkton, area, and rapidly expanding into other parts of the province.
"It's been a big learning curve. That's for sure," he said, adding "It's helped out we've got a lot of good employees we can rely on that I can be in here (his office)."
Being based in Yorkton, with its amenities for staff families is an asset too. As a result Yawney says they've been able to attract staff back from Alberta, and from as far away as British Columbia.
The rapid expansion has been something Yawney said the local economy has helped fuel, and they were ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
"Obviously Yorkton and Saskatchewan has been expanding over the last four years as well, and it goes hand-in-hand," he said. "The opportunity was there and we took it "
And there's no end in sight. The framework has been laid, the economy is on fire and with an established business taking off, Yawney's future looks bright. So bright in fact, he's recently captured two awards.
In November of 2011 he was named Saskatchewan's Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Awards event and in March of this year the he captured the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur Award at an annual Celebrate Success event.
His goal now is to earn SYPE's (Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneur's) Volta Award that comes with it a prize of $5,000. If he wins though, he won't be keeping the money. Yawney's plan is to donate the winnings back to the community via the Yorkton Skateboard Park.
YOU can help achieve the goal by going online and voting. Find the competition online on Facebook at: SYPE Volta Award - Sask entrepreneur of the year competition. Click to view entries where you will see Yawney's video entry and simply click "like."
More information on the contest can also be found at: www.sype.ca.
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