Business Entrepreneur for the new age
NNSL (OCT 21/96) - Some say business is in the blood. If anyone said that about Dave Ramsay, they'd be right. He loves it.

Standing in his busy video-game store, Microplay, the 26-year-old can't help but be enthused by what he sees.

"It's scary, but it's being your own boss," he said.

"I work seven days a week. And sure I take holidays, but if I'm not here it doesn't feel right."

But being in charge of the success of business has been his dream for years.

"In today's day and age you can't count on the government for employment," he said.

That enthusiasm for private-sector activities has paid off for Ramsay, who opened Microplay in Yellowknife a year ago.

Last week he was named the Business Development Bank of Canada's NWT Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

One entrepreneur, 29 or younger, was selected from each province and territory for the award.

"It was a real honor," Ramsay said last Thursday, the day he returned from the award celebrations in Vancouver. "The show was like the Oscars."

The award is some consolation for the hard work involved in starting the business.

While studying for a political science degree at the University of New Brunswick, Ramsay often visited his uncle's Microplay store in Saint John. His uncle is the area franchisee for the chain.

"He has a couple of stores," Ramsay said. "And he seemed to be doing well in a place that isn't that great economically. I figured a business in Yellowknife like that would do all right."

Growing up he always had some type of a video-game system, but stuck mainly to the sport games. Since opening the store with his father, Ramsay has learned much about the vast array of games now available.

In addition to being able to turn to his father, Frank, for advice, Ramsay can also ask fellow Yellowknifer Ray Anderson of Matco Transportation Systems for counsel.

Anderson is Ramsay's business mentor through a feature of the award designed to support and assist the young entrepreneurs.

"He has been in the North for 30 years and is a very astute businessman," Ramsay said. "He hasn't come across what he's got now without working hard.

"You can take a lot from that."

And as Ramsay's business and business contacts grow, who knows where they'll lead?

Ramsay said he has his eye on a few things, including financial planning and taking a masters of business administration.

He would also like to one day become a politician.

"Hopefully it will all pay off in the end," he said.