Something good in business: 505-Junk co-founder mentors young entrepreneurs
When Tsawwassenites Barry Hartman and Scott Foran started their business 505-Junk in 2011, they did so with a $15,000 loan from Futurpreneur Canada, an organization that helps young entrepreneurs get a start-up off the ground.
They began with one truck and worked out of Barry’s parents’s basement. Today, they’re headquartered in Richmond with three trucks, seven full-time employees, and have designs on an “ambitious” expansion plan.
Like their revenues, the awards for 505-Junk have piled up over the past five years. In 2013 they won the Delta Chamber of Commerce Rising Star Award, and a year after they won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. The moment came just days after Barry’s twenty-sixth birthday.
“Right when you feel like, wow, I’m getting old, you get this title of ‘young’ all of a sudden,” says Barry, laughing.
Despite being two years shy of 30, Barry has already started looking to the “next generation” of young entrepreneurs. Grateful for the help from Futurpreneur Canada, he’s now looking to pay it forward to other young would-be businesspeople.
“In entrepreneurship you don’t necessarily have a lot of people that are there to support you,” says Barry about striking off on your own. “You have to look outside of the company for mentorship or family support. You might not have a coach or a manager in the company to tell you, hey, you’re doing a great job.”
Last year Barry was one of 100 young entrepreneurs invited by Futurpreneur Canada to go to a summit in Toronto that explored better advocacy for small businesses from governments and financial institutions.
“The whole trouble with youth entrepreneurship is they’re young, which means inexperienced, and entrepreneurship, which means to partake in a risky venture. So inexperienced and risky venture doesn’t really go with banks and governments.”
From Toronto, Barry found out there was a young entrepreneur G20 summit in Istanbul, Turkey, and spent two weeks there learning from young entrepreneurs operating out of China, Japan, Mexico and dozens of other nationalities. He came away with a completely new perspective about the generation gap.
“It isn’t the old people versus the young people. It’s the old people learning from the young people and the young people learning from the old people and working together.”
In early 2016, Barry was invited to speak to students at a high school and he enjoyed it so much that he’s continued to speak to other high schools, including one in Delta.
“I just looked around the room and all these people’s eyes were like, I can own my business? I don’t have to work for a boss?”
He later received a thank you card from a high school student saying his speech made him want to own his own business one day.
“Not everyone’s going to be an entrepreneur because the world would collapse,” laughs Barry. “But there’s always one or two people in a room who want to be an entrepreneur and if I can help them take the next step, that’s what I get out of it.”