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Young: Entrepreneur immigration can boost economic growth
Rummaging through my thoughts this week seeking a theme for today’s column, I reminded myself that it’s time again to share a story about another successful Okanagan entrepreneur .
That idea was sparked by a recent visit to the Bean Scene coffeehouse by the Kelowna Landmark buildings.
As I entered the coffeehouse, my eyes quickly discovered Raghwa Gopal, an Okanagan serial entrepreneur, coach, mentor and angel investor and truly a world traveller of repute.
He subsequently introduced me to a gentleman he felt I should meet and write about his entrepreneurial journey.
But before I get into the depth of that story today, as background let me highlight that effective May 14, 2013, the Canadian government trumpeted to the masses that Canada wants entrepreneurs.
To back that up, the federal government created a new Start-Up Visa program, the first of its kind in the world, linking immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations which have an abundance of expertise in working with start-up entrepreneurs.
Successful applicants to this program will be able to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents with no conditions attached to the success of their venture.
This backdrop leads me to person that Gopal was talking to in the coffeeshop, Peter Green,
Green is the founder of a relatively new Okanagan software engineering venture, Software Modelers.
After following up with Green later and hearing his story, I must say it never ceases to amaze me the calibre of talented, committed immigrant entrepreneurs that have settled in the Okanagan, intent on creating their future through innovation and creativity.
Green, who is from the U.K. and has an MBA and degree in computer studies, has been midst our region with his family for about nine years, enhancing his software skills originally ignited in his native homeland.
Green emphasized to me that as he became woven into the world of freelance software experiences, he frequently challenged himself with this query: “Can I do more with my life and my personal interests?”
Over time, the tidal wave of commitment came upon him as Green embraced the notion of becoming a Canadian entrepreneur and forming his own team of software developers with a primary goal of becoming the best that they can be in unique innovative aspects of client software development needs.
Software Modelers specializes in developing applications for the Windows NET platform, including the design of multi-tiered architectures and relational database system.
All of the Modelers team members have extensive experience.
Green speaks with pride when he accentuates that everyone in his venture works diligently with their clients to investigate all avenues for successful software design.
Currently, Green and software developers is destined to grow to 28 to 30 employees with a marketplace throughout the northwest region of North America.
Green reminded me that he would like to keep a ceiling on his venture that is truly manageable and able to react quickly and effectively for their client requirements.
He has been able to previously experience the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship as his father ran a successful business in the retail sector in London during the 1970s and ‘80s.
He does not hesitate to tell me that witnessing the ups and downs during his early childhood years planted the seed of entrepreneurial self-employment that has never left his soul.
Listening to Green talk about his journey, I could almost feel the joy and excitement he must feel immigrating to Canada and finding his “dream machine.”
That for me is my joy in writing this column, providing the hope, education and inspiration to explore the idea of entrepreneurship for your own life.
Please check out this great firm at www.softwaremodelers.com.
This is a company to watch for in the future.
Joel Young is an entrepreneurial leadership coach, educator and consultant and the founder of Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.