A Saskatchewan entrepreneur is being recognized on the world stage.
Al-Katib accepted the award at a ceremony held in Monaco’s Salle des Etoiles Saturday night, and told EY he’s honoured and excited.
“To be recognized as World Entrepreneur of the Year — wow, what an opportunity to talk to entrepreneurs around the world and inspire them,” said Al-Katib.
He was picked among 59 other entrepreneurs from 49 countries vying for the title.
Jim Nixon, chair of the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year judging panel, said in a news release that the decision to grant Al-Katib the title was “unanimous,” adding that “through sustainable agricultural practices, (Al-Katib) is making a positive impact on the global environment.”
As for Al-Katib, he said it all goes back to starting a business with a purpose.
“We don’t have to change to become social entrepreneurs,” said Al-Katib. “Successful entrepreneurs will have a social purpose embedded in their entire philosophy, their growth strategy and retention strategy. Together,entrepreneurs will help solve society’s problems.”
Growing up in a Turkish immigrant family, Al-Katib said his upbringing helped shape who he is and his work ethic today.
He said that’s part of the reason why his goal is to help feed the world.
“Philanthropy is interwoven in our corporate causes, and feeding refugees and the most vulnerable is certainly a big part of what we want to focus on,” said Al-Katib. “I think what it does is it gives our employees purpose.”
Al-Katib kick-started AGT in 2003, and it has since become the world’s largest vertically-integrated supply chain for chickpeas, lentils and peas.