As Small Business Week wrapped up in Canada, the Federal Government announced new funding to support Indigenous entrepreneurs.
Minister of Small Business Rechie Valdez was at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’s (CCAB) West Coast Business Forum and promised $500,000 in funding for CCAB’s work.
“Small businesses are the heart of our communities and the backbone of our economy, employing more than 10 million hard-working Canadians,” said Valdez.
“It was incredible to spend this Small Business Week celebrating their invaluable contributions with them across the country and meeting key partners involved in delivering our government’s support programs that help entrepreneurs thrive. We will continue to have the backs of small businesses from coast to coast to coast, whether they’re just starting out, looking to grow or striving to extend their reach into new markets,” said Valdez.
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Funding for Indigenous Entrepreneurs
“Our government recognizes the incredible contributions that Indigenous entrepreneurs bring to the Canadian economy, and that’s why it’s so important to ensure they have a fair chance at succeeding when it comes to starting and growing their own businesses,” said Valdez.
“By working with organizations like the CCAB, we are going to the source to find the best ways to support Indigenous entrepreneurs and remove the barriers to their success,” she said.
For 39 years, CCAB has used programming, tools, training, network-building opportunities, and award events to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, businesses, and communities.
According to Valdez, the new funding is a step towards advancing economic reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Tabatha Bull, CCAB President and CEO said they were encouraged by the move.
“This funding will not only allow Indigenous-led programs to be developed and strengthened but also government programs and policies to be built to benefit Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country,” said Tabatha.
According to a press release from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the funding will help CCAB promote the 50-30 Challenge and increase Indigenous inclusion in the business space.
The goal of the 50-30 Challenge is to get organizations to reach gender parity (50% women and/or non-binary people) on Canadian boards and/or in senior management and significant representation (30%) on Canadian boards and/or senior management of members of other equity-deserving groups.
CCAB will also use the funding to update its Tools and Financing for Aboriginal Business website and learn about the tools, funding, and training that Indigenous entrepreneurs need the most.
“Altogether, this work will help the CCAB strengthen Indigenous entrepreneurship services and supports, help the government develop strong evidence-based programs and policies, and help Indigenous businesses play a greater part in Canada’s economy,” reads the release.
You can learn about Indigenous Entrepreneurship online from Small Business BC.
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