Sunday, October 9, 2011

Spotlight: W. Galen Weston (Executive Chairman, George Weston Ltd)

1st  Your company is one of the biggest in Canada. What’s so entrepreneurial about that?

From personal standpoint, I ran away  to the other side of the world to start a business, develop my own capabilities and confidence and make some money. I cam back to Canada in my 30’s and after that I had a chance to get involved in a much bigger company. But the bigger the company, the more entrepreneurial elements you have to release within that business. It’s essential to have a really strong  group of people that have entrepreneurial spirit within business. We’ve go 30,000 to 40,000 products and the need to be renewed on a constant basis and new products take their place, so we need  to have the entrepreneurial spirit that says, “Well , I need a more healthy product or this or that, or we could do things this way.” It’s a constant challenge to ensure that you’re mentoring everybody  in the business to help motivate them to come up with things that are relevant, new and exciting that they can be given the opportunity to work on.

2nd   Any advice for entrepreneurs?

If you have an idea, give it a shot, give a real chance. The instant gratification isn’t always necessarily there. You have to be patience and commitment. You have to really get your research done, you have to go to people who have experience in the areas you’re talking  about. You have to be brave and get people on the phone or find them through their girlfriends (laughs) or whatever. You have to read about the area and ask yourself: Am I  on the right track?

Question s were used from the Financial Post Magazine  Entrepreneur Issue  October 2011

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