Indigenous Entrepreneurship in Northern and Remote Canada

The Conference Board of Canada, 22 pages, June 15, 2020
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This primer identifies general trends in the current population of Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada, examines the various reasons individuals choose entrepreneurship, and explores the challenges Indigenous entrepreneurs face in the North.

Document Highlights

There were 54,255 self-employed Indigenous peoples in Canada in 2016. However, there is still no definitive measure of Indigenous entrepreneurial activity. This primer is part of a broader research project examining the support systems available to Indigenous entrepreneurs in the North. The project findings were derived from an independent review of academic articles and grey literature reports. We also interviewed individuals from 16 organizations across a wide geographic area in Canada’s North and conducted a thematic analysis of the interviews. The purpose of this primer was to identify general trends in the current population of Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada, the various reasons individual choose entrepreneurship, and the challenges Indigenous entrepreneurs face in the North. These objectives are the basis of this primer.

Table of Contents

Key findings

Indigenous entrepreneurship defined

General trends and statistics

  • Youth
  • Gender

Diversity in the Canadian Indigenous population

Characteristics of Northern and remote communities

Reasons for Indigenous entrepreneurship

  • Finances
  • Personal agency and self-determination
  • Community and culture
  • Bridging Indigenous entrepreneurship with cultural practices and tradition

Key challenges

  • Financial obstacles
  • Socioeconomic and infrastructure constraints
  • Cultural considerations

A cumbersome entrepreneurial journey

Appendix A—The North in detail

Appendix B—Methodology

Appendix C—Bibliography

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