Blaketown woman up for $100,000 young entrepreneur award
Sarah Lynn Russell used to be one among thousands. Now she’s one of nine.
The Blaketown businesswoman is competing with eight other finalists for the Business Development Bank of Canada Young Entrepreneur award, a prize that comes with $100,000 to help her build her manufacturing and retail business.
“It was a video and several series of documents I had to submit for my application, and when I submitted it, it was the day before the closing, and I looked at the numbers, and it said, ‘ You are applicant 6,700 and some- odd,” said Russell, 29 laughing. “I thought, I have no chance, so it was definitely a huge surprise.”
Russell’s Ready to Reboot operation — founded by her father nearly 20 years ago as a manufacturer of pine mouldings for a wholesale market — expanded into retail operations, producing stair components, cabinetry, hardwood f looring and doors. Russell, 29, came to work for the business in 2009, and her father retired two years later.
“Here I sit, trying to streamline the company and all the daily operations and such,” said Russell, who said the prize money would be put to good use. But even just making the finals has helped her.
“Even this far, the publicity and the marketing side of things that it’s going to do for us, I can’t even imagine what we’ll get out of it. In terms of winning, what I want to do is implement the money towards computer software for our inventory control and manufacturing management system. That’s absolutely going to create a foundation that’s going to be solid enough for us to grow on and take on more business and different product lines.”
Now that the thousands of applicants have been whittled down to nine finalists, the public takes over, with the winner being decided by voters.
The public can view videos by all the finalists and vote at www.bdc.ca/yea. Russell says she’s hoping to garner the Newfoundland and Labrador support that recently propelled musicians Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case to the top prize in the CBC Searchlight competition.
“That’s the nice thing about being a Newfoundlander — we’re all there for each other,” she said.
Supporters can vote every day until June 11. email@example.com
Sarah Lynn Russell of Blaketown is one of nine finalists for the Business Development Bank of Canada Young Entrepreneur award, a prize that comes with $100,000 to help her build her manufacturing and retail business.