Fabio Costante, a local west-end advocate, entrepreneur and community leader has been awarded the Rising Star Award at the annual Business Excellence Awards.
Costante, who attended the University of Windsor, earned an MBA and just recently received his law degree. In addition, he has worked as an internal auditor at Tepperman’s and throughout university did consulting work for small businesses and local entrepreneurs.
“Just being nominated in itself was an honour and being nominated with Sarah Davidson and John Blanken was [also] an honour,” said Costante to OurWindsor in a telephone interview. “To actually win was surreal.”
Costante explained that upon realizing that he had won the award, he was rendered speechless and was “at a loss of words.”
“When I gave out my thank you’s, I ended it by giving out a big thank you to the community because this local Windsor-Essex community played a huge role in contributing to my success,” said Costante.” I owe a lot … a debt of gratitude to this community.”
Believing that Windsor is a “tight knit” community, Costante explained that working on projects in the community makes “you feel like you’re really a part of something.”
“I can assume that in a bigger city you’re not going to feel that sense of community that you would feel here in Windsor,” said Costante. “You can do a lot of good things, you have access to a lot of great people, and it’s not just a space … it’s a place and there’s a big difference between the two.”
A few years back, Costante created a grassroots grassroots organization entitled “Our West End” which originally sought to analyze crime in the west-end and attempt to find best practices to both reduce and prevent crime.
Almost having his house broken into prompted Costante to make a stark decision and was the impetus to start the organization.
“I had to make a conscious choice and that was to either continue to live in the area, which is an area that I’ve lived in most of my life and is an area that I grew up in, or move out,” said Costante who decided to not only stay in the area, but went on to purchase a home in 2011 and “firmly entrench” himself in the community.
“I decided that if I’m going to live here, I need to do something about it,” said Costante.
Since that time, Our West End has broadened to address both community and development issues.
Ever busy, Costante wrote a book which sought to explain the basic principles of entrepreneurship to students and small entrepreneurs which was the “culmination of my undergraduate and graduate studies and I compressed it into a easy to read sixty page principles of entrepreneurship.”
Regarding receiving the award, Costante concluded the interview by explaining that while the “past forty-eight hours have been surreal” that “in a few days it’ll kind of hit home.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.