Four of the 18 finalists, in six categories, for the 2016 Douglas College Entrepreneur of the Year Awards were from Maple Ridge.
The awards were issued Oct. 19, in honour of Small Business Week.
Two of the four from Maple Ridge competed for the Youth Award, given to entrepreneurs under 35 years of age.
Daniel Seifried, one of them, started his company, DS90 Media, in 2014. He specializes in video production for businesses and their websites.
The winner of the Youth Award was Maple Ridge’s Natalie Grant, who went from volunteering at the SPCA and being a coordinator for the Friday night dog walkers to the owner of “Dirty Dog Adventures.” She takes dogs on adventures up Burke Mountain and around Buntzen Lake so “their owners can come home to tired, clean, happy dogs.”
Ed Vandenberg was a finalist for the Construction and Manufacturing Award. His business “Eddy’s Mobile Welding and Fabrication” is a Maple Ridge based company that provides quality welding and fabrication services to industrial and commercial businesses in the agricultural, construction, transportation, manufacturing and forest industries.
He also provides mobile services to residential clients.
The last Maple Ridge finalist competed in the High Tech Award Category. For the third year in a row, Don Lekei was recognized for his computer service business, “Help-My-Tech.” Kekei started Help-My-Tech in 2013 and goes to the customer’s home for service, set-ups, and training on PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, and anything that connects to them.
Douglas College operates the local WorkBC Office. Ray Peterson, business consultant and master of ceremonies, stated that students have started over 400 businesses in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, as well as thousands in the region.