Michael Kraus was a Canadian entrepreneur and minister in the New Apostolic Church.
Mihail Krauss was the eldest son of a tavern-owning farmer in Meeburg, a village of 950 German-speaking Lutheran Saxons in the Transylvania region of Romania.
According to Canadian immigration records, in 1926, at age 18, he boarded the Canadian Pacific ship Minnedosa, and emigrated to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He often described his arrival saying, “I had only ten cents in my pocket, didn’t speak a word of English, didn’t know a soul. Not even the dogs barked at medical ” In the 1930s, he worked in a furniture factory by day.
After hours he built apartments, beginning a lifelong interest in real estate and construction.
At some point his name was changed to Michael Kraus—it is not clear when this change occurred. In 1941, Michael Kraus began importing fabrics to Canada.
In 1946 he formed a partnership to manufacture fabric. Initially adopting fabric looms to manufacture carpet, he founded Kraus Carpet Mills in 1959.
A daring expansion into fibre extrusion, he founded Strudex Fibres in 1971.
By his death in 2003, Kraus companies employed over 900 people at facilities across Canada, in the United States and in Australia. He organized the construction of thousands of church buildings in developing countries.