A new spirit of entrepreneurship has pervaded our society that will change our economic future. The entrepreneurial profile is examined, contrasts drawn with previous global circumstances, statistics, and examples are given to build a model for the future of the Canadian Petroleum Industry.

Developing more autonomy, self reliance, innovation risk taking and the ability to recognize and exploit opportunities are strongly advocated to meet the challenge.

This paper presents observations and experiences gained during 18 years in the petroleum industry as a corrosion engineer and management consultant to business internationally.


Entrepreneurs are different breed of cat than the normal employee or businessman. They are unstable. They dream a lot have lots of ideas, innovate, are full of energy & enthusiasm for the future and take calculated risks. Sounds like someone you know? Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurism have been studied to death recently because it has finally been realized that they are the engines of growth and economic wealth for our low growth economy. They create new jobs.


The official MBA handbook may have it right when they define the Entrepreneur as "a high rolling risk taker who would rather be a spectacular failure than a dismal success." Not necessarily so but key words - risk taker success & failure, business games, win or lose.

Some Statistics:

  1. They comprise 97% of all firms in Canada. (750,000 small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and $2 million annual sales).

  2. They generate about 20% of total business revenue, in Canada ($134 billion in 1982),

  3. They account for 25% of GNP and wages.

  4. They borrow $5 billion but invest 7.4 billion of their own money (or their mother in law's) for expansion each year

  5. Companies with fewer than 50 employees created 96% of the new jobs from 1978 to 1984. Big companies paid off people and created unemployment when times got tough. In Alberta in 1981 business created 19,000 jobs small business 21,400 jobs and helped dampen the downswings of big business In 1984 larger firms cut employment by 14,000 small companies still created 10,000 new jobs.

  6. For every five businesses started in Canada 3.2 closed in 1974–1982. In the US it was 6 up and 6 down (lots of change and turmoil).

  7. The service sector created 96,000 new jobs in Alberta during 1978–1984 (74% of the total) Our GNP is now 60/40 services/manufacturing. It's easier to start service businesses due to less capital required and no requirement for economies of scale.

  8. An interesting statistic is that more woman are starting businesses than before and they are much better managers and more successful in business than men. They check things out better & go for the long run.


Some Characteristics are

  1. Drive and energy

  2. Self confidence

  3. Long term commitment.

  4. Money as a measure

  5. Persistent problem Solving

  6. Goal setting

  7. Moderate risk taking

  8. Dealing with failure

  9. Internal focus of control

  10. Competing against self imposed standards

  11. Tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty

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