From coming to Canada with nothing and not speaking a word of English to being one of the finalists in the 14th annual Small Business BC Awards, Lilian Cazacu said anything is possible in this country with hard work.

‘With hard work you can accomplish a lot’

Langley businessman, who came to Canada speaking no English, now up for Small Business BC Award

From coming to Canada with nothing and not speaking a word of English to being one of the finalists in the 14th annual Small Business BC Awards, Lilian Cazacu said anything is possible in this country with hard work.

Cazacu, founder of Lilian Cazacu Notary Corporation in Langley, is a finalist in the Immigrant Entrepreneur category of the prestigious awards, which will be celebrated in Vancouver at a gala in February.

Immigrating here from Moldova with a law degree, masters and PhD, Cazacu quickly learned that his certification and education didn’t mean much here.

“I came here thinking I was somebody. I was told I was nobody. I went back to school (getting his Masters of Arts in Applied Legal Studies at SFU) to say, yes I am somebody,” he said.

But arriving to Canada with a wife and children and not speaking a word of English was very difficult, he recalls.

“I spoke some French but no English. I say this about it: It’s like learning to swim two different ways — In a pool or in the ocean. I learned to swim in the ocean,” he said.

After getting his Master’s, he was commissioned as a notary. He was working as a wills and estates paralegal in a busy Vancouver law firm, drafting thousands of estate planning documents, but commuting three hours a day.

A few years later, he runs his own notary that employs four people.

“It’s been a team effort with my wife,” he added.

He said being a finalist in the Small Business BC Awards feels good.

“It feels good to represent Langley and also the majority of the finalists were born here in Canada and here I am, I came here with no money and now I’m showing my children that with hard work you can accomplish a lot.”

Since Cazacu has made it this far, next he will have to make a pitch about himself in-person at Small Business BC in Vancouver between Feb. 6 and 14.

“It’s a Dragons’ Den scenario. I’ve never been through this before but it’s good experience and something to look back on,” he said.

“I’m just glad it is in the winter, our slower time.”

The winners will be announced at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony at the Pan Pacific Vancouver on Feb. 23 during an evening of drinks, appetizers and networking with 500 B.C. business owners, industry influencers, government officials and special guests.

Recipients of Small Business BC Awards will be recognized with the Premier’s Prize in the amount of $1,500 cash, a one-year all-access pass to Small Business BC education, resources and experts, and one-on-one business mentorship with notable advisors from the award sponsors.

To get this far, Cazacu had to activate people’s votes online. This year, there were 699 nominations from 72 communities.

These awards recognize the outstanding achievements of B.C.’s entrepreneurs and celebrate the contributions new and existing businesses make.

Cazacu is no stranger to winning awards.

He is the winner of the 2016 Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce U40 Business Person of the Year.

While busy growing his practice, his priority is with his family.

“I’m trying to teach my girls and my little guy, that things aren’t just handed to you, that you must work to achieve your dreams. I want them to realize you don’t come to a country and they just give you everything. That is a harder value to teach in Canada where they can have everything so easily,” he said.

“My focus is on bringing up a family that appreciates life. I’m a family man. Whatever I do, I try to spend quality time with our family.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Drive by shooting in Langley (updated)

Truck and house damaged in attack

Upgrades could be coming to popular Penzer Park in Langley City (with video)

Council considers a staff proposal that would move up construction of planned washroom, benches picnic tables and shelter

VIDEO: celebrating Diwali in Langley

Muriel Arnason library marks event for 14th time

Promoting Langley City: new agency launches

Discover Langley City created in wake of split with Township

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read