L-R: John Regan (EBRC); Carmen DeMarco (FedNor); Walter Roseti (Sigma Pac);|
Francisco Enns (Enns Textiles); Helen Haddow (EBRC); Mark Wilson
(FedDev Ontario); and Glenn Thorel (EBRC)
An Aylmer businessman has been honoured as "Entrepreneur of the Year" for the growth
of his small business which now employs nearly 50 people. Francisco Enns of Enns
Textile Packaging Solutions was nominated for the award by the Elgin Business Resource
Centre, from which Mr. Enns received a loan to expand his business.
Enns Textile received the prestigious award out of many nominations from across
the province. He was honoured at the annual conference of the Ontario Association
of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC), held recently in Sarnia.
On hand to accept the award were Mr. and Mrs. Enns, and his business associate Mr.
and Mrs. Roseti of Sigma Pac, as well as representatives from the Elgin Business
Resource Centre: Helen Haddow, Chair of the Board of Directors, John Regan, General
Manger and Glenn Thorel, Loans Officer.
Nearly 250 delegates from Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) met
in Sarnia recently. Many of the CFDCs had nominated successful businesses they had
assisted with business counselling and loans. The Elgin Business Resource Centre
is one of 61 CFDCs across Ontario.
Enns Textile makes reusable automotive packaging to move parts between manufacturing
and assembly plants. But that's not how the business began, Mr. Enns says. "In the
beginning we were doing furniture finishing, that's what the shop was built to do,"
he adds. But things changed when he met up with engineers who were looking for a
way to ship autoparts.
"When I first started the business, my goal was to have a small business working
at home, leading a quiet life, making a comfortable living with one or two employees,"
Mr. Enns says. But the business soon outgrew his home and he now employees upwards
of 50 people. When he needed money for equipment in order to expand, he contacted
the Elgin Business Resource Centre for a loan. The EBRC very quickly put together
a loan for him to be able to buy the equipment needed to meet his clients' needs.
According to EBRC Loans Officer Glenn Thorel, Mr. Enns clearly understood the opportunity
that was available to him, and wanted to take advantage of it right away. The EBRC
was in a position to make that happen as quickly as possible so the opportunity
wasn't lost. "Right from the start he was an entrepreneur who has what I call the
'do-it' attitude," says Mr. Thorel. Mr. Enns has a good balance of moving forward
quickly and keeping a clear vision of where he is going, explains Mr. Thorel.
Enns Textile manufactures reusable packaging from fabric and vinyl. The materials
are cut to very specific sizes by computers and then sewn on industrial machines.
Mr. Enns has plans for the continued growth of Enns Textile. He has purchased adjacent
land for expanding his operations, and hopes to employ 100 people in future.
"We are pleased to honour Mr. Enns as the Entrepreneur of the Year. His business
is an excellent example of the type that the Community Futures program can nurture
and help grow," says Diana Jedig, Executive Director of the Ontario Association
of Community Futures Development Corporations.
Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) offer free business counselling,
loans for start-up and expansion of small business, strategic planning on local
projects, and community economic development in rural areas. Each CFDC is locally
managed by a volunteer board of directors, funded with the support of the Government
of Canada's Economic Action Plan through FedNor and FedDev Ontario. To learn more
about Community Futures program in Ontario or the OACFDC, go to www.ontcfdc.com.