Derived from the French word entreprendre,
entrepreneur means to undertake, or refers to one who organizes, manages, and
assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. This
basic definition holds the key word of risk. People
who start their own enterprises in the petroleum
industry are risk-takers, who believe the advantages
and rewards are worth the challenges.
When the first oil and gas discoveries were made,
there was no industry so it had to be created by
investors and people with vision. Albert Leroy
Ellsworth founded one of the first Canadian oil
companies in 1906. He created the British American
Oil Company (BA) after spending nine years working at a
Standard Oil refinery. S. R. Parson was the first
President of BA, with Mr. Ellsworth as Secretary
Treasurer. The location of the first BA Office
Building was in Toronto, Ontario. Even today, many
people who worked for larger companies left to begin
their own. With years of experience and planning,
the new entrepreneur in the oil and gas industry may
not succeed. A business plan for any endeavour has
to consider what the business environment is
currently like, how to market the product,
operations of the business, how to secure financing,
and what the risks and benefits will be. More and more consortiums are taking the risks,
headed by one person with a strong vision for the
company. The Syncrude consortium was formed in 1964,
with Frank Spragins as the first company president.
As a result of his guidance, Syncrude is now a top
oil sands producer in Canada.
For more information on entrepreneurship, visit
the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce website (http://www.edmontonchamber.com/)
or any banking website.