SIEF recognizes tireless spirit of entrepreneur Chris Jobb
- NC Raine | November 13, 2017
Chris Jobb is the newest recipient of the Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation (SIEF) Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Jobb, a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and the owner of Jobb Tire and Automotive in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, founded his business in 2014 on the principles of offering high quality tire services to the community with low costs to the customer. As such, he embodies the SIEF Entrepreneurial Spirit, an award which is given to an individual or business who exemplifies forward movement and involvement in creating sustainable economic development for First Nations of Saskatchewan.
SIEF provided the initial financial support to Jobb through the Contribution Program, a boost which was invaluable, says Jobb, in allowing him to get his business off the ground.
“Without SIEF, I wouldn't be able to do it. They gave us an opportunity,” Jobb said after accepting his award. “The assurance and help I received has given us security, and a sense of pride, value, and ownership. Being able to start this business gave me the freedom of being able to make my dream a reality.”
Its beginnings were not without its share of hurdles, though. Flooding on the property, establishing a presence amongst many competitors, and facing racial prejudice were some of the early challenges in opening the business, says Jobb. But perseverance was never a question.
“I had a lot of hurdles and trials, but I always had a smile,” he said. “Whatever you desire in your heart to do, it can happen, but you have to drive yourself. There will be hurdles but that doesn't mean you quit. You get back up.”
Now, Jobb Tire and Automotive employs three full-time employees and is one of the most successful providers in its region for Cooper tires. Jobb also worked with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology to provide work placement programs for young First Nation people to gain experience. Jobb says he believes diversity in the workplace is important.
“I want it diverse because a lot of the community members that come into my shop may have a barrier in language,” he said.
Jobb hopes that he can help encourage young people and other aspiring entrepreneurs to chase after their goals, and says that he welcomes anyone who seeks advice on starting out.
“If I can be an inspiration to one person, that is great. I never did drugs or drank in my life, even though I grew up in a home of alcohol and drugs,” he said. “I want to encourage anyone who wants to start their own business not to give up.”
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award has been given out by SIEF every year since 2011.
SIEF is a financial institution owned by the 75 First Nations of Saskatchewan, and affiliated with the FSIN. They were one of the first Indigenous financial institutions in Canada to offer developmental lending to First Nation businesses in Saskatchewan, and continue to offer lending and consulting services.