Futurpreneur Canada partners with the national aboriginal capital corporations association (nacca) to support young indigenous entrepreneurs

February 27, 2020

National organizations join forces to foster the success of Indigenous-owned businesses across Canada

Toronto, ON, February 26, 2020 — Futurpreneur Canada and the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) have partnered to support Indigenous entrepreneurs aged 18-39 across Canada.

Sharing a national mandate—NACCA represents a network of more than 50 Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) across Canada and Futurpreneur supports young entrepreneurs from coast to coast to coast—both organizations will work together to identify aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs served by NACCA’s network of AFls, and provide them with the start-up financing and support services they need to launch or acquire a business.

Among Indigenous entrepreneurs, a 2016 study by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business indicated that over half of those surveyed found one of their biggest challenges to be locating potential sources of funding.

“When launching a business, one of the key barriers faced by all young entrepreneurs is access to critical start-up financing,” said Karen Greve Young, CEO, Futurpreneur Canada. “The first step in supporting more young Indigenous entrepreneurs, particularly those living in smaller communities, is raising awareness of the financial support available to them. Working together with NACCA and its AFI network, we will be able to reach more of these aspiring business owners, and provide them with the financing, mentorship and tailored resources they need to launch and grow successful businesses.”

“Business development is a key driver of employment, wealth creation and more resilient communities, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike,” said Shannin Metatawabin, CEO of NACCA. “NACCA, through its network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions, and Futurpreneur Canada, having supported thousands of young entrepreneurs over two decades, are ideal partners for delivering the support necessary to fuel young Indigenous-led business development from coast to coast to coast.”

Through this partnership, Futurpreneur and NACCA will be assessing the barriers and gaps in service faced by young Indigenous entrepreneurs and will work together to develop tailored tools and models of support to address these gaps. As part of this work, NACCA, with support from Futurpreneur, will convene an Indigenous youth business advisory council comprising six to eight successful young Indigenous entrepreneurs, and will use their insights and business experience to determine the best ways to support this underserved market.

Together, the partners will also launch an awareness-building campaign showcasing young Indigenous entrepreneurs as success stories and role models for Indigenous people considering starting a business as a career option.

“As an entrepreneur and Métis person myself, I’m fully aware of the additional challenges that Indigenous entrepreneurs face and am excited about this opportunity to collaborate with organizations like NACCA to help Indigenous entrepreneurs launch or acquire businesses across the country,” said Cindy Goertzen, Futurpreneur board member, co-founder and COO of Trivenity Corporation, and co-founder and president of Maira Group Inc. “Futurpreneur is committed to furthering our support for this growing demographic of talented, young leaders.” Ms. Goertzen was recently joined on the Futurpreneur board by David Sharpe, CEO of Bridging Finance Inc., a finance leader who is also Indigenous and has a strong track record as one of the only bridge lenders to First Nations in Canada.

“Indigenous entrepreneurs have a substantial impact on their communities, not only by creating direct employment, but also by establishing more resilient local economies,” said Jean Vincent, chair, NACCA Board of Directors. “There is a growing need for capital to fuel these youth-led businesses and a huge opportunity to turn them into engines that will drive prosperity across Canada. Through this partnership, we will make capital work for more Indigenous businesses, which will benefit all business in Canada.”

The partnership was officially launched at today’s Indigenous Prosperity Forum, an annual event organized by NACCA to promote Indigenous business.

Additional information

  • The Indigenous population is the fastest growing in Canada, with particular growth seen in the number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth aged 15 to 34 (a demographic that increased by 39 per cent from 2006 to 2016, compared to just over 6 per cent for non-Indigenous youth). – Statistics Canada
  • While the rate of Indigenous entrepreneurship, as measured by self-employment, is also on the rise in Canada—and growing at a faster rate than among the Canadian population more broadly—it remains below the non-Indigenous population as a whole. – 2016 Aboriginal Business Survey conducted by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)
  • Increasing the rate of Indigenous entrepreneurship will provide a vital boost to the prosperity and resilience of Canadian communities in general, providing as many as 200,000 additional jobs (net of the entrepreneurs themselves) for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. – 2017 TD Economics special report on Aboriginal businesses

About Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of enterprising young Canadians since 1996. We’re the only national, non-profit organization that provides resources, financing and mentoring to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program matches young entrepreneurs with business experts from a network of over 3,000 volunteer mentors.

Futurpreneur is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

staging.futurpreneur.ca / Facebook: Futurpreneur / Twitter: @Futurpreneur

Media inquiries: Please contact media@futurpreneur.ca

About the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA)

The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), is a network of over 50 Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) dedicated to stimulating economic growth for all Indigenous people in Canada. The AFI network has provided over 46,000 loans totaling over $2.7 billion to businesses owned by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people. NACCA supports the network by building AFI capacity and fostering Indigenous business development. NACCA’s goal is to provide opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs and increase prosperity for Indigenous people in Canada. These efforts increase social and economic self-reliance and sustainability for Indigenous people and communities nationwide.

Media inquiries

André Jetté, Communications Manager: ajette@nacca.ca, 613-688-0894, Ext 506