Supports for Success: Indigenous Entrepreneurs in Canada’s Northern and Remote Communities

The Conference Board of Canada, October 17, 2019 at 02:00 PM EDT
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Entrepreneurs in Canada’s remote communities represent a potentially vital catalyst for local innovation and community economic development. There are many sources of funding, technical advice, and support available to Canadian Northern and Indigenous people who wish to start a business in their community; however, they are provided via a complex web of local, regional, national (and sometimes international) public, private, and Indigenous organizations.

This 60-minute webinar focuses on recent research by The Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for the North (CFN) and its Centre for Business Innovation (CBI), in addition to highlighting some of the work undertaken on Indigenous entrepreneurship by the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO). The webinar highlights the challenges and opportunities facing existing and aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs in Northern and remote Canada, as well as the ecosystems of support programs and services available to them. The webinar will also draw on the expertise and work of CESO in order to demonstrate the importance of market access as a key component to supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs. It will feature a discussion of lessons learned as well as best-practices that have helped to facilitate market access for Northern and remote Indigenous-led businesses through CESO’S comprehensive mentorship program.

Webinar Highlights

The webinar will address the following questions:

  • What are the key challenges facing existing and aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada’s Northern and remote regions?
  • What key supports (e.g., financing, skills, mentoring) do young entrepreneurs in Northern and remote communities require for success in Canada?
  • What are the leading organizations and programs providing these supports?
  • What impacts have these leading organizations and programs had on the success of entrepreneurs in remote communities in Canada, and where are the gaps in the current support system?
  • Why is market access a key component to supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship in northern and remote regions, and what can be done to facilitate market access?

About Darren

Photo of Darren GreschDarren Gresch joined the Conference Board of Canada’s Innovation and Technology team in January 2017. He has worked on projects in a variety of innovation-related research areas, including procurement, direct funding programs, performance benchmarking, and the role of Canadian CIOs. He has also worked on projects related to community wellbeing, national security, and value-based health care.

Darren is a graduate of the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (MA) and Queen's University (BA, Economics). He has a strong interest in emerging technologies and their policy implications, and is happy to apply his quantitative and qualitative research skills to address these issues.

Previously, Darren spent time as an economist at the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; an investment officer at Global Affairs Canada; and a research assistant at the University of Ottawa.

About Candice

Photo of Candice ShawCandice Shaw is new to the Indigenous and Northern Communities (INC) team as a research associate. So far, her work with the team has focused on economic development; community capacity development; corporate-Indigenous relations; infrastructure development; and health and wellness. Candice is also completing her PhD in Sociology with a focus on the impacts of economic development on Indigenous communities in remote regions of Mexico. Prior to this, Candice completed her MA in Sociology and International Development at the University of Guelph where she studied the impact of macroeconomic trade blocks on rural Indigenous community resiliency and self-governance. She has since worked on a number of projects related to gender and development issues, with a particular focus on rural and remote communities.

About Stacia

Photo of Candice ShawStacia Kean, originally from Timmins, Ontario, has been actively involved in the community economic development for over ten years. As Director of CESO’s Indigenous Services, she is a dedicated to fostering knowledge sharing relationships between CESO and Indigenous peoples. Over the course of her career, Stacia has successfully secured program funding and received recognition for her work related to fostering market access through strategic partnerships. Notably, Stacia was awarded a Social Sciences and Human Research Council (SSHRC) Grant to study the micro-finance and peer lending models for Indigenous and Canadian women. Stacia holds and has held, appointments to numerous boards and steering committees, including the United Nations Development Fund for Women- Canadian Chapter, the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, and the Advisory Committee for the Conference Board of Canada’s the Centre for the North (CFN) project, Driving Inclusive Innovation Through Indigenous Entrepreneurship.

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