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Indigenous entrepreneurs on the rise, with regional challenges and opportunities

OTTAWA, ON, June 15, 2020 (Globe Newswire) - Indigenous entrepreneurship is rising in Canada, yet indigenous people accounted for only 2.5 per cent of self-employed Canadians. Regional differences also exist. In a new research primer, Support for Success: Indigenous Entrepreneurship in Northern and Remote Canada, The Conference Board of Canada frames the unique challenges and opportunities for Indigenous Entrepreneurship in Canada’s Northern and remote communities.

“Entrepreneurship is often an appealing alternative. Being self-employed can provide a sense of pride, autonomy and meaning.” Says Stefan Fournier, Director of Indigenous and Northern Communities. Additionally, entrepreneurship provides personal financial options and an opportunity to fill community needs, or to share culture and knowledge.

“Pursuing entrepreneurship allows people to participate in the economy in a variety of ways, to apply existing skills and talents, and to link things like traditional practices and culture with running a business, says Fournier. Perhaps most importantly, being self-employed can provide financial security as well as jobs for other community members when alternative sources of employment are not available.”

However, Indigenous people also face unique obstacles to entrepreneurship in Canada’s Northern and remote communities. Insufficient capital, unfavorable valuations, small markets, and limited infrastructure, skills and training are just some of the financial and socio-economic hurdles identified in the report.

Follow-up research will look at the organizations, programs, and services available to Indigenous entrepreneurs in Northern and remote Canada. An analysis of these existing resources will assess whether Indigenous entrepreneurs are getting the right supports for success.

Our experts are available for media. The report is available here.

About The Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is Canada’s foremost evidenced-based applied research organization. We equip leaders and decision-makers with the economic reports, custom research, data, and networks they need to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. Our focus areas include Canadian Economics, Energy & Environment, Innovation & Technology, Immigration and more. We stand at the intersection of research and policy, where insights meet impact.

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Content Attribution

Darren Gresch, Senior Research Associate

The Conference Board of Canada


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