Young entrepreneur awards deadline Sunday

Entrepreneurs under the age of 35 have until Sunday (May 6) to enter this year’s BDC Young Entrepreneur Award.

To run a successful business, simply love what you do.

That’s according to Daisy Leslie, co-owner of the Root Cellar Village Green Grocer on McKenzie Ave.

Leslie, along with her husband Adam Orser, and business partner Phil Lasreniere, won the Business Development Bank of Canada Young Entrepreneur Award in 2009.

Winning the award, and funding it provided, gave them the confidence boost they needed as a new business, and reinforced their love for the business, Leslie said.

“It gave us more courage to take risks in the business.”

Since winning the award and becoming more recognized in the community, the pressure to keep up with customers’ standards increased.

“We’ve become known as a business that operates with integrity, and with people as a high priority. So there’s almost sort of a pressure to lead by example,” she said.

The Root Cellar has not only grown in staffing (from eight in 2008 to 55 now), but it’s also grown in sales.

“As we’re well-embraced, it’s just extra fuel for that fire because (our business is) working, and people are getting excited and awareness is growing,” Leslie said. “The amount of local product we’re selling now compared to five years ago just tells us that people are listening.”

Entrepreneurs under the age of 35 have until Sunday (May 6) to enter this year’s BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. This year’s contest includes a grand prize of $100,000 for innovation and $25,000 to a runner-up.

For more information or to apply, visit

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