Lincoln Douglas remembers sitting at a past BC Aboriginal Business awards dinner, and seeing the winners as a different class of business.
But now, he can count himself among those recognized for excellence. K&L Contracting was the recipient of the Business of the Year award, for businesses with 10 or more employees.
“It’s an exciting event, and I never thought I’d be receiving an award like that,” he said. “I’ve been to the award and I never thought my company was measuring up to some of the big award winners there.”
But then he went away and thought about it.
Douglas started K&L Contracting in Rosedale in 1998, dealing primarily in sand and gravel. In 2005, he branched out and created Link’s Contracting, picking up business on and off reserve. Now his company’s work on major road building projects, logging, developing rights of way, and more.
Last year, he employed more than 100 people.
“After looking at it, I thought ‘I guess I am doing quite a bit,'” he says. “I work with young people, and I get them jobs. I see their abilities and I give them an opportunity, and a lot of them take a run at it.”
He has made a life for himself as an entrepreneur, much like his father and grandfather before him. So it’s even more rewarding when he sees younger workers finding their way.
Douglas has found success in diversifying his business, taking advantage of every opportunity that comes his way, and working on business relationships.
” I take advantage of opportunities when they’re there, and I’ve worked hard my whole life,” he said.
The seventh annual BC Aboriginal Business award recipients were announced on Sept. 15 by the premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, the awards’ presenting organization. The honourees will be celebrated at a gala dinner ceremony on Oct. 14 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
The BC Aboriginal Business Awards were launched in 2008 to honour and celebrate business excellence in six categories. A total of 15 Aboriginal businesses, entrepreneurs, joint ventures and community-owned enterprises will be recognized.