UFV alumnus and recently appointed Alumni Association Director Keenan Beavis (BBA ’19) scooped a major provincial accolade when he was awarded this year’s Indigenous Young Entrepreneur of the Year award from the BC Achievement Foundation.
Beavis is founder of Longhouse Media, an Aboriginal owned and Métis Nation BC registered business. The company is a communications and marketing company that uses multimedia elements and marketing through storytelling to grow businesses and brands online.
“When people ask what my job is, I tell them, ‘we solve problems and tell stories’,” said founder and award recipient, Keenan Beavis.
Beavis grew up knowing he had a passion for helping to make businesses better. Beavis got his start in marketing while still in high school, selling t-shirts online. He leveraged search engine optimization to promote his small business venture giving him a taste of marketing for low budget businesses.
“When working with a product with low margins such as t-shirts, you really need to learn how to market efficiently so that you don’t end up losing money,” said Beavis. “It was here that [I] developed the system of how businesses can leverage the internet and media to grow their sales.”
He then moved on to freelancing with local Langley businesses like Bromac Mechanical and Marcus Soares Brazilian Jiujitsu while completing his bachelor’s degree in business at the University of the Fraser Valley.
By the time Beavis completed his degree, he had built up a large network of freelancing contracts and decided to turn these into a business.
Longhouse Media was created in 2017. The company took on a well-known Indigenous symbol, representing the place where people come together to work towards a common goal, for its own.
Beavis said he’s very happy to have been recognized for his hard work.
“I am very excited to win the Indigenous Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the BC Achievement Foundation ,” said Beavis. “I send major thanks to those who nominated me and the people who sent in letters of support.”
The Indigenous Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award is one of a number of awards presented by the B.C. Achievement Foundation to Indigenous-owned businesses that “create and expand opportunities, relationships and communities, all with the goal of a more inclusive and prosperous future,” said foundation chair, Anne Giardini.
The Indigenous Young Entrepreneur Award is the first for Longhouse Media and founder, Beavis.