Starting a new business may be a thrilling and fulfilling experience. This guide will give you basic information about organizations that offer services and programs tailored to aboriginal people in Ontario if you are an aboriginal person wishing to establish your own business.
What restrictions and procedures will apply to you will depend on the sort of business you start and the legal structure you pick. In addition to the material, you can contact us directly to speak with information officers in the concerned department about your specific business needs.
One of the first stages in beginning a business is to write a business plan. A business plan is a document that details your company, what you intend to sell, who you intend to sell to, how you intend to sell, and your financial projections. It also aids in the setting of objectives, the planning of external funding, the measurement and monitoring of your progress, and the clarification of operational requirements. Preparing a business plan can help you understand how to run your new company and offer it the best chance for growth and success.
The strength of your business plan directly impacts your ability to obtain financing to launch your new venture. It would be best if you met specific criteria in order to be considered for funding from financial institutions or investors.
What Are Aboriginal Financial Institutions?
AFIs can be found all across the country. The fundamental goal of AFIs is to help all Indigenous peoples in Canada grow economically. The fact that each AFI is governed by a First Nation, Inuit, or Metis group is critical to its success since it keeps decision-making close to the communities and people serviced. In addition to the programmes listed in this article, your local AFI may be able to help you with finance and business support.
Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program: Access to Capital
This initiative encourages Indigenous people to start businesses and aims to increase the number of viable Indigenous-owned firms. The programme is divided into two parts: finance access and business possibilities.
The Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) aims to boost the number of viable Indigenous-owned and controlled businesses in Canada. The AEP finances a wide range of entrepreneurial endeavours with the goal of increasing economic prospects for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people by establishing partnerships that will develop capacity, decrease barriers, and increase access to capital. The AEP has two streams, one of which is Access to Business Opportunities. The other stream is Access to Capital, which offers Indigenous firms non-repayable contributions for supporting and leveraging additional money for qualifying business projects.
There is no application deadline. After all annual funds have been distributed, applications may be considered for the following fiscal year.
Access to Capital
The program gives non-repayable contributions to Indigenous enterprises for promoting and leveraging additional funds for suitable business proposals.
The initiative is managed by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), which distributes funds to 59 Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) across Canada. Indigenous firms can access funding and other business support services through the AFIs. Visit What is an Aboriginal Financial Institution to learn more about AFIs.
The quantity of money available for a business proposal is determined by its scope and budget estimate. Individual Indigenous entrepreneurs may be eligible for funding of up to $99,999.
How to apply?
To apply for funding, please get in touch with your local AFI directly or the NACCA.
Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program: Access to Business Opportunities
The Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) aims to boost the number of viable Indigenous-owned and controlled businesses in Canada. The AEP finances a wide range of entrepreneurial endeavours with the goal of increasing economic prospects for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people by establishing partnerships that will develop capacity, decrease barriers, and increase access to capital. The AEP has two streams, one of which is the Access to Business Opportunities Program, and the other is the Access to Capital Stream. They give funds to foster an entrepreneurial culture, expand access to business opportunities, and strengthen Indigenous business development groups’ capacity.
Access to Business Opportunities
The Access to Business Opportunities stream provides funds at the national level to develop a culture of entrepreneurship through Indigenous national organizations in order to boost access to business opportunities and strengthen Indigenous enterprises’ capacity. The amount of assistance will vary depending on the recipient’s needs, financing availability and sources, cost eligibility, economic benefits, and project viability.
The following activities will be paid for 100% of expenditures, up to a maximum of $500,000:
- business advisory services and training for commercial ventures, including business innovation and growth market development.
- institutional development, including training and development, and business
- supports business development organizations, business advisory services, and training commercial ventures, including business innovation and growth market development.
For more details, consult the terms and conditions.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Communities and governments of First Nations and Inuit peoples, including Tribal Councils
- Individuals from the indigenous population
- Organizations and associations, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous owned, as long as they are not charitable or religious
- Indigenous peoples own and govern businesses.
- Banks, credit unions, and trust organizations owned and controlled by Canadians are permitted to offer commercial loans and are regulated either provincially or federally.
- Providers of private equity
- Crown corporations, either provincial or federal
- Governments at the local level
- Organizations of workers
- Universities, colleges, and other educational establishments
Contact Name: Business Development Directorate
Phone Number: 1-800-400-7677
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF)
- Indigenous peoples have job options.
- indigenous communities’ local revenue streams
- the indigenous communities’ economies
The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) will provide up to $500,000 in investment to eligible Indigenous community-owned firms for ventures that show social and economic benefits to their communities. The ABIF funds projects that help to:
- The planned firm or joint venture must be owned and controlled by the community at least 51 percent of the time.
- Corporate companies must be in good standing, and applicants must be in accordance with any past Indigenous Relations funding terms and conditions.
- An Indigenous community may only submit one ABIF proposal in any given funding year.
Deadline Date: Annually, September 30.
The ABIF program’s goal is to invest in the capital components of business projects, such as:
- Capital costs are the costs of acquiring, constructing, or improving large fixed assets such as buildings, equipment, and other tangible assets that will be used or benefit for more than one financial year.
- Within the funding year, the projects must be close to starting operations or breaking ground for construction projects.
The projects must demonstrate the following long-term effects:
- boost the number of Indigenous-owned companies in the community
- improve the quantity of Indigenous peoples’ job chances
- Indigenous communities should be able to generate or grow local revenue streams.
- Indigenous communities’ economics will be strengthened.
Contact Name: Alberta Indigenous Relations Aboriginal Initiatives
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Indigenous Community Business Fund (ICBF)
This fund will give non-repayable financial assistance to Métis-owned micro-businesses and businesses owned jointly by MNA Regions, Locals, and Métis Settlements that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or other federal assistance programmes.
Applicants who are eligible
- Métis enterprises are micro and jointly held.
- Artists, musicians, artisans, and small-scale providers of goods and services who are Métis
Expenses that are allowable
The non-refundable contributions might be used to cover expenses such as:
- Fees and interest payments to the bank
- Salary and fringe benefits
- Payments for rent and loans
- Other operating expenditures that may apply
Date of the deadline: Ongoing
Contact Name: Apeetogosan Metis Development Inc. & Pinnacle Business Services Ltd.
Phone Number: 780-452-7951 or 1-800-252-7963
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Indigenous Community Business Fund by Indigenous Services Canada
The Indigenous Community Business Fund is contributing $117 million in non-repayable financial contributions to support community or collectively-owned companies and microbusinesses whose revenues have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding was renewed in Budget 2021 with an additional $117 million. There are two streams in the fund:
Stream 1: The funds will be distributed directly to communities and collectives to support their COVID-19 economic priorities immediately. For stream one financing, no applications are necessary.
Stream 2: Funding will be awarded based on proposals. The community or collectives must submit applications on behalf of the business. The money will go straight to the communities and collectives. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) regional offices will handle the funds for First Nations and Inuit community-owned companies. Métis organizations included in the “Métis businesses” section will handle financing for Métis collectively-owned firms.
Those who qualify: If the following applies to your community or collective, you may be eligible for stream two funding: has been owned by a First Nations, Inuit, or Métis community or collectively is located in the provinces and has been in operation since October 1, 2019, has either experienced a negative financial impact as a result of COVID-19 or that financial support will prevent layoffs, bankruptcy, or permanent closure, has been solvent, financially viable, and not declared bankrupt before the economic disruptions associated with COVID-19, currently operates as a for-profit entity and expects to continue to do so
Date of the deadline
There are no deadlines for submissions. Funding applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all funds have been allocated.
Contact Name: Applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate ISC regional office representative for this fund if they have any questions regarding the application.
To Wrap Up
These grants strive to create funding that increases Indigenous economic engagement. Indigenous communities and organizations, industry, various levels of government, and non-Indigenous groups play an essential role in the economy of Canada, and supporting them in new businesses will bring diversity and prosperity.