A FORMER Hartlepool woman is embracing life as a successful entrepreneur in Canada.
Sara Weelwright runs her own company called S&E Trusted Online Directories Inc, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It is a directory of other businesses which can only be registered with S&E if they are proven to be trustworthy.
Sara, a mother of three, lived in Hartlepool until 2000 and then moved to Newcastle. She was formerly in sales until she left the UK and moved to Canada in 2006. For five years after that, she sold radio advertising in Sakatoon and then “took the leap” and started her own company.
Sara said: “I had been thinking about the idea since 2006 when I emigrated to Canada and struggled to find all I needed without local knowledge.
“Trusted is a unique concept, in that it only promotes and does business with trustworthy locally accountable businesses that are nominated or recommended for the Trusted directories. They have to pass an application and verification process if they want to partner with us”.
The idea worked and Sara won this year’s YWCA Women Of Distinction Entrepreneur Award. She was also a finalist in a series of awards including the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Awards for two years running.
But Sara’s involvement in Canadian community life goes further than that. She was a co-founder of the Little Red Dress Club which is a fundraising and networking group of local women entrepreneurs. Since 2012, it has raised more than £35,000 for local causes.
Sara is also the chairman of the Habitat for Humanity annual fundraising initiative which aims to raise £54,000 in 100 days to build a house for a struggling local family.
She said: “Saskatoon has a small town feel in a vibrant, beautiful and fast growing city of over 325,000 people in Western Canada surrounded by lakes and space.
“It is an amazing place to bring up children. It has great schools, affordable community sports programmes for children from the age of four including swimming, ice skating, football, ice Hockey, golf, lacrosse, and Canadian football.
“It has low crime rates and clean streets”.
Sara’s new home is a place where unemployment stands at 3.3 per cent which is the lowest in Canada.