A local entrepreneur is growing a business in Sherwood Park to help make the oil patch safer. 

Naoka Incorporated manufactures vehicle safety whips, the amber flags seen on pick-up trucks. They are required on mine sites to make smaller vehicles visible to operators of large equipment. 

Shelly Anderson

Shelly Anderson is the owner of Naoka Inc., a manufacturer of safety whips for pick-up trucks. (CBC)

Company owner Shelly Anderson got the idea from an organization looking to employ a First Nations group.  When the pitch fell flat, she decided to jump in.​

"I didn't have a big passion for LEDs or working as a manufacturer," she said.  "It was such a good idea I couldn't let it pass." 

Anderson is one of 1,700 self-employed aboriginal people in Edmonton. Her staff of five can produce up to 2,000 safety whips a month.