Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in agriculture but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Georges Aczam, president of Les Fermes AquaVerti, located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are tackling the agricultural industry, which relies on toxic chemicals and high emissions of greenhouse gasses to feed cities around the world. AquaVerti Farms is the first or one of the first farms in North America to be able to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coming out of production fully. We were able to do so by using 100% sustainable energy and fully eliminating dependence on natural gas. We also refuse to use pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides to pollute the soil, water, and air.
Tell us about yourself
I was born in New York City, lived my life in Syria, and moved to Montreal to pursue my studies in Finance. My family has been involved in the import of food products since 1917, which exposed me to the dynamics of food production from a very young age. My grandfather always insisted that I go spend time in the office to learn the business.
After graduating from Finance, a very lucrative industry, I found myself succeeding but without a clear purpose that I believed in. I always wanted to be involved in environmentally friendly projects, which is how AquaVerti Farms started. There was a clear need for sustainable and locally grown, high-quality greens in Quebec. After all, nothing grows for most of the year.
What motivated me is to see the support and the love of what we do coming from our team, our partners, and customers buying our products. The feedback has been out of this world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment as a business owner is seeing AquaVerti Farms products in so many supermarkets today. With the completion of Phase 1 of our MegaFarm in March 2022, we will officially be in all the IGAs, Metros in Quebec, as well as with Lufa Farms.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is making hard and important business decisions.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The top 3 tips I would give to anyone starting or in their entrepreneurial journey is:
- Surround yourself with smart people that you can rely on for advice/feedback
- Never wear pink glasses or lie to yourself. As humans, we easily succumb to confirmation bias. This is another important reason to be well surrounded.
- Know what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
To any current and aspiring entrepreneurs out there - have fun, learn from your mistakes, and enjoy the journey. Entrepreneurship is another form of backpacking. It is a daily adventure.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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