Suncor Energy and Fort McKay First Nation partner to promote business development for Aboriginals
Fort McKay, Alberta (July 23, 2008) — Suncor Energy and Fort McKay First Nation are pleased to announce a joint partnership to establish a business "incubator", that will promote economic development and entrepreneurship in the community of Fort McKay.
The incubator is being designed to support entrepreneurial activities and nurture start-up and early-stage businesses by helping them manage and plan for long-term success. The incubator will provide small business guidance in the areas of marketing, human resources and finance. Businesses will also have access to office services such as phone, fax and computers during their start-up, a 24 to 36 month period.
"This initiative will help develop business capacity within the community of Fort McKay," said Chief Jim Bouchier. "The project will require strong leadership support from both the Chief and Council as well as other community leaders of Fort McKay and industry players."
Suncor Energy is providing start-up funding up to $300,000 over three years, as part of its commitment to the project.
Direction and financing for the joint venture will be shared equally between Suncor Energy and Fort McKay First Nation, with the latter operating the initiative. The project is expected to be in operation within six months; details relating to the application process will be made available once complete.
In the short-term, the incubator will be located in the Dorothy MacDonald Business Centre in Fort McKay. It is expected to move to its permanent location, Caribou Energy Park, a joint venture between Waiward Steel Fabricators Ltd. and Fort McKay First Nation, within three years.
"The Fort McKay Group of Companies has built strong relationships with industry and has achieved nationally recognized success for its community," said Kirk Bailey, Suncor's executive vice president. "For Suncor, this is an opportunity to support economic development in a more indirect way. We can engage the entrepreneurial spirit of the Fort McKay First Nation's citizens and have a positive impact on the economic health of the community as a whole by maximizing the success of its entrepreneurs."
Future plans for the Fort McKay Business Incubator will include engaging the youth of the community through such programs as Aboriginal Junior Achievement, School Mentorship and Youth Entrepreneur Camps.
This initiative is part of Suncor's commitment to building long-term relationships with Aboriginal businesses near its operations. Suncor benefits from the proximity and local knowledge of its suppliers, while Aboriginal businesses and communities share in the financial rewards of resource development with a goal of helping strengthen local communities over the long term. Suncor spent an average of more than $100 million per year over the past three years on direct purchases from Aboriginal businesses in the Wood Buffalo region.
Suncor Energy Inc. is an integrated energy company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. Suncor's oil sands business, located near Fort McMurray, Alberta, extracts and upgrades oil sands and markets refinery feedstock and diesel fuel, while operations throughout Western Canada produce natural gas. Suncor operates a refining and marketing business in Ontario with retail distribution under the Sunoco brand. U.S.A. downstream assets include pipeline and refining operations in Colorado and Wyoming and retail sales in the Denver area under the Phillips 66® brand. Suncor's common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.
Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Inc. is an authorized licensee of the Phillips 66® brand and marks in the state of Colorado. Sunoco in Canada is separate and unrelated to Sunoco in the United States, which is owned by Sunoco, Inc. of Philadelphia.
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