A local entrepreneur is taking on a new challenge; helping add 40,000 new private-sector jobs in the province and attract new investment in southern Manitoba.

Charlotte Unrau

Charlotte Unrau of Precision Land Solutions is joining the newly formed rural economic development organization board to develop strategies to foster competitivenes and growth, while addressing economic barriers.

"My first feeling was "why me?'" Unrau says. "But just as an entrepreneur growing a business from the ground up I think that was one of the reasons I was asked to be part of this team."

Because the goal is growing rural southern Manitoba business, Unrau says she's excited to be a voice from the local area.

"We have many small businesses that support each other and collaborate, but we don't have giant manufacturers," she says. "We're grassroots, salt-of-the-Earth kind of people and that's what makes our economy strong here, but we also need to compete with large multi-nationals."

She notes the area is strongly tied to agriculture "which can be quite cyclical, so we need to insulate against that, look for opportunities to strengthen agriculture... I'm hoping to present on that so we can see things from a rural person's eyes."

As well, Unrau says it's important to create jobs and opportunities for young people, "just to allow them to earn a good living and live near family."

The board is co-chaired by Chuck Davidson, President and CEO of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce along with Joe Masi, Executive Director of the Assosication of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM).