The Canadian Indigenous SME Business Magazine

Page 1

The Canadian



INDIGENOUS SME Empowering Canadian Indigenous Small & Medium Businesses

BUSINESS MAGAZINE Shipping partner

DISCUSSING INDIGENOUS ENTREPRENEURSHIP WITH Steven Vanloffeld Founder & CEO at eSupply Canada Ltd.

Indigenous entrepreneurs have many opportunities for development & growth

12 All Images, trademarks, service marks and logos referred to or appearing in this magazine are the property of their respective owners.

Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year 2021


Founder, Shades of Gray Indigenous Pet Treats Co.

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Silver Sponsor

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Kwe-Biz - Supporting Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs

Discussing Indigenous Entrepreneurship with




17 Destinee Peter

Indigenous Businesswoman of the month:



10 Indigenous Businesses Follow Across Canada

Carol Anne Hilton International Indigenous Business Leader to follow

5 Indigenous Tourism Experiences in Canada By Keith Henry


Canada and it's Indigenous Community By Darian Kovacs


Canadian Indigenous TikTok Stars By Darian Kovacs


How First People’s Economic Growth Fund is Empowering Canadian Indigenous Entrepreneurs?

51 Justin Hall A Dynamic Indigenous Entrepreneur to Watch Out for

27 How Nookoom Learning is providing Métis-led Training, Facilitation & Community Engagement




All You Need to Know Indigenous ACE


The Growth of Women Entrepreneurship in Canada


All you need to know about The Canadian Centre for Aboriginal Entrepreneurship, Inc


The Importance of Creating an Inclusive Ecosystem for Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs


5 Digital Marketing Trends for Small Businesses in Canada in 2022


Canva - The Best Design Platform for Your Small Business


Get to Know about the Best Business Resources for Indigenous Entrepreneurs


5 things to consider before starting your own business

An Indigenous Wonder Woman to Follow!

57 HOW TO BUILD A START-UP FROM SCRATCH: Essential steps you need to succeed

60 HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN BOOST YOUR SMALL BUSINESS Running a small business can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world

June 2022 | Issue 1


MESSAGE FROM Hon. Mary Ng, P.C., M.P. Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wanted to congratulate the whole team at CanadianSME on the launch of CanadianSME’s Indigenous Magazine. This launch could not be more important or more timely, as we look to build a more inclusive economic recovery from COVID-19. This means building a Canada where Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses have the tools they need to succeed and take advantage of every opportunity the future holds. By creating a platform for greater coverage of Indigenous business news, issues, successes, and opportunities, Canadian SME’s Indigenous Magazine will enable the wider success of so many.

From promoting Canada to the world as a great place to do business to helping our entrepreneurs and businesses stay competitive and access new markets, to ushering in an inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19 – Minister Ng is focused on helping Canadians succeed. First elected the Member of Parliament for Markham–Thornhill in April 2017, Minister Ng was first appointed to Cabinet in July 2018 as Minister for Small Business and Export Promotion. After being successfully re-elected in September 2021, she became Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. Prior to serving as a Member of Parliament, Minister Ng worked in government provincially in Ontario and federally including as Appointments Director for the Prime Minister. As well, she worked as Executive Director for the President of Ryerson University where she oversaw the creation of a world-leading business incubator for tech start-ups. Throughout her 20 years of public service, Minister Ng has been a devoted community leader with a focus on creating jobs, fostering entrepreneurship, and empowering small business to innovate and grow.

June 2022 | Issue 1


SPECIAL MESSAGE Indigenous businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities—creating jobs and driving innovation. The value of Indigenous peoples’ contributions to our economy cannot be overstated. According to the research conducted by Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Indigenous SMEs generate billions of dollars in annual operations, support thousands of jobs, and play an important role in international exporting. As responsible stewards of these lands, Indigenous communities are also active players – and often proponents – of many clean energy projects across Canada that Rocco Rossi

are powering our transition to net-zero.

President & CEO Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC)

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many issues faced by Indigenous-owned businesses, making this a uniquely challenging time. Understanding the existing barriers that Indigenous businesses already face, including limited access to financing, means that government and businesses must work collaboratively to drive targeted solutions. We continue to advocate for policies and work cooperatively with the government to make it easier for these businesses to access the right forms of capital, including grants, loans, and tax incentives. The business community also has an important role to play through partnerships, consultations, workforce development and education as outlined within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations on Business and Reconciliation in Call to Action 92. While the future is still uncertain, we look toward the next year Tabatha Bull President & CEO Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

with hope and optimism and will continue to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities, and awareness.

Hello readers! Our first Indigenous issue is finally here and we, as a whole team, are excited to share with you all some of the most amazing content on Indigenous small businesses and entrepreneurs in Canada and how the entrepreneurs have shown exceptional zeal to keep up with the changes during the past two years. We have strived hard to become the top small business monthly magazine in Canada. And we wish to offer all our readers just the right kind of strategies, ideas, inputs, tips, and tricks of doing business the right way. Indigenous-SME's mission is to ensure that every Indigenous person has access, knowledge and resources at their fingertips. Educating them about how to start any kind of business in Canada- whether it's for-profit or not, it is our goal and the best way to achieve it is by providing access, resources and tools that can help with their success! Our first Indigenous-SME issue is focused on showcasing the determination and courage of all the Indigenous entrepreneurs who have fought hard in the past years. We wish Indigenous-SME to be the perfect stage to portray the good works done by the Indigenous small businesses and we are just here to help them shine with their accomplishments. Learn 6 Key Trends that Will Drive Small Businesses in 2022 and The Importance of Creating an Inclusive Ecosystem for Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs. Get to Know about the Best Business Resources for Indigenous Entrepreneurs and How Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Is Empowering Canadian Indigenous Entrepreneurs. Check out the Indigenous Businesswomen of the month featuring Destinee Peter and 10 Indigenous Businesses to Follow Across Canada. We, at Indigenous-SME, trust in bringing forth the efforts of all such amazing Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada who are taking every day as a challenge and trying their best to reach where they actually belong – the top. Especially in the past two years, when the whole world was at a standstill due to the global pandemic, these small business owners didn’t lose hope and strived hard to march ahead with a lot of enthusiasm, passion, and positivity. We are here to address them our way, through our monthly magazine. We hope that this month’s issue will provide you with the knowledge and information that you need to stay ahead of your competitors. canadiansme indigenousSME canadiansme canadiansme

Editor Darian Kovacs Publisher Shaik Khaleeluddin (SK) Creative Design Cmarketing Inc Client Manager Maheen Bari Social Media Cmarketing Inc Sales Abdul Sultan Shaik Photography Deposit Photos/Canva/123RF/CanadianSME Web design Cmarketing Inc

For Advertisements Cmarketing Inc 2800 Skymark Avenue, Suite 203 Mississauga, ON. Canada. L4W 5A6 Call us at 1-855-966-2995 / +1 416 655 0205

Do not forget to subscribe to our magazine to get the latest trends and to stay up-to-date regarding all our events. Until the next issue, happy reading! Published by Indigenous SME Inc 2800 Skymark Avenue, Suite 203 Mississauga, ON. Canada. L4W 5A6. Copyright © 2022 Indigenous SME Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

Darian Kovacs Indigenous Business Leader in Marketing, Communications, & PR

All Images, trademarks, service marks and logos referred to or appearing in this magazine are the property of their respective owners.

The contents in The Canadian IndigenousSME Magazine are for informational purposes only. Neither Cmarketing Inc, the publishers nor any of its partners, employees, or affiliates accept any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of its contents.


EMPOWERING CANADIAN Indigenous small businesses

VISION AND MISSION When it comes to creating a platform where small and medium-sized

business owners can connect and find resourceful information, CanadianSME has been very successful. Through our team of experts and extensive research, no one is better placed to understand the needs of small

businesses. Not only have we been able to fill in the gap when it comes to providing exclusive information that is crucial for business owners when it

comes to succeeding, but with their help and the help of business experts,

CanadianSME is now well known among many entrepreneurs across Canada

today! However, there is still room for improvement. Although CanadianSME is well known for promoting diversity and inclusiveness, we realized we came up short when it came to promoting Indigenous-owned businesses from Canada.

It may come as a surprise to realize that Indigenous-owned businesses

contribute approximately $30 billion dollars annually to Canada’s economy. Therefore, this community that has well over 50,000 businesses is without a doubt the backbone that drives our nation's prosperity. The Indigenous

community is a crucial part of our business industry and it’s our responsibility to provide them with all the resources we can that can contribute to their

success. We at CanadianSME understand how important it is to provide an outlet for these companies who deserve just as much recognition as any other business out there.

9 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


OUR GOAL There have been many aspects that have been identified as challenges for Indigenous

entrepreneurs and SMEs when it comes to helping them grow their business: finding employees with the right skills and qualifications, access to equity or capital, government policy, rules and

regulations, access to financing, input costs,

infrastructure needs. CCAB has also been told

that access to business networks and a lack of

Our mission is to ensure that

mentorship opportunities hold back Indigenous

every Indigenous person has

challenges that they face on a regular basis.

access, knowledge and

business growth. These are just some of the many

Our ultimate goal is to provide these Indigenous

resources at their fingertips.

entrepreneurs with an inclusive curriculum that

Educating them about how to

wide spectrum of activities, from reading to

start any kind of business in Canada- whether it's for-profit or not, is our goal and the best way to achieve it is by providing access, resources and tools that can help with their success!

10 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

fosters productive learning. We have plans for a networking and everything in between! We

strongly believe that this initiative will just be the

beginning of what it takes to ensure the success of the Indigenous business industry in Canada.


Indigenous entrepreneurs are just as innovative and hardworking, if not more so than

their nonnative counterparts. Because they have to

constantly fight for recognition in an industry that is already dominated by people with

money or influence, they need to work twice as hard to be innovative. The Canadian

Indigenous SME Magazine aims to promote and attract more attention to these forgotten voices while also providing articles about how small

businesses can succeed.

Additionally, our events provide

What Indigenous SME magazine will do for Indigenous entrepreneurs? There are many benefits that a Canadian Indigenous SME magazine will have

for entrepreneurs. Not only will it give them the resources and knowledge they need to help them thrive in their business endeavours, but every issue of this

publication will also include articles about developing and growing businesses from First Nations, Inuit and Metis persons, as well as insights from industry experts themselves!

The Indigenous Magazine will provide a platform for Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners to share their stories with the world. Each article is

designed specifically around Aboriginal topics and features content that sheds light on issues such as entrepreneurship development and challenges to succeed.

By helping Indigenous people, we can create a sustainable future for their community. Supporting these businesses benefits everyone!

a platform where Indigenous business owners get the

opportunity to share their

success stories which can

encourage other Indigenous entrepreneurs to start their business while having a

complete understanding and knowledge of any challenges they might face and how to overcome them to be

successful in the long run.

Why are Indigenous businesses important? Indigenous businesses are more than just local services providing goods and services. They create employment opportunities for Indigenous people in the community and provide an essential part of their culture through creativity,

tradition, and spirituality. Recent studies have revealed that nearly four in ten Indigenous small and medium-sized businesses employ at least one Indigenous individual.

Indigenous businesses are leaders in environmental sustainability. By respecting the land, they are ensuring that the future generation will be able to benefit from it. Additionally, Indigenous business leaders have also been known to invest in social development initiatives, such as supporting educational scholarships with financial aid or funding youth sports programs.

When Indigenous businesses succeed, the economic empowerment of

communities can lead to a more prosperous future. The reason why so many Indigenous communities choose entrepreneurship as a career path isn't just

because it increases income levels, but it also provides an opportunity within these areas.

Indigenous businesses have the potential to be key to Canada's economic recovery. However, this will only be possible if we work in partnership with

Indigenous nations toward reconciliation. By working together and promoting Indigenous businesses, we will be one step closer to ensuring the growth and success of our country’s economy. 11 - Indigenous-SME - April 2022

DISCUSSING INDIGENOUS ENTREPRENEURSHIP WITH STEVEN VANLOFFELD Founder & CEO at eSupply Canada Ltd. Indigenous entrepreneurs have many opportunities for development & growth

Building meaningful

relationships with Indigenous communities is a way to

support reconciliation. This

exclusive interview with Steven Vanloffeld in this area and

developing interactions that foster collaboration for the

betterment of Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties has been very insightful.


A Brief about Steven Vanloffeld, CEO and Founder of eSupply Canada Ltd. Steven Vanloffeld, a member of Saugeen First Nation, ON, is the Founder & CEO of eSupply

Canada, an Indigenous-owned online distributor of office, janitorial, and industrial supplies. He is also the owner and principal consultant of

INDsight Consulting, a research and evaluation firm that works with governments, public

institutions, private companies, Indigenous

peoples, communities, and organizations to

facilitate relationships that lead to meaningful

change. Steven’s latest venture, Tiny Homes on Huron-a tiny home cottage resort-is set to launch in the summer of 2022.

So, I looked at what those companies were

using and purchasing, what my community was using and purchasing, and eventually came up with the concept for eSupply Canada.

One of the problems I was attempting to

solve, in some small way, was the issue of eSupply Canada was founded in February 2019. Could you please share what motivated and inspired you to start this innovative business in Canada with the readers? And, what do you hope to

economic leakage, which is the outward flow of capital from one community to another. For example, I looked at my community’s revenue, about $30M from all sources.

achieve through the work that you do?

Because there are few businesses in the

Steven Vanloffeld

circulating, most of that money goes

I served as an elected council member for my

community from 2016 to 2018, and one of my portfolios was economic development. In this role, I saw how much revenue was leaving the community to the

neighbouring towns and retailers, most of whom do not earn the community’s business but get it simply

because they exist. Several of these retailers would

also treat our community members differently when they shopped there for no other reason than Indigenous.

I said to myself, ‘there’s got to be a better, safer way

for our community to purchase the supplies they need’. I also saw a multi-billion-dollar development project

taking place in our territory. That company said many nice things publicly and to their major industrial

suppliers and contractors about supporting local and Indigenous.

13 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

community to keep the flow of capital elsewhere. The same holds for many

Indigenous communities. This is an issue that has bothered me for some time, so in my personal, professional, and academic

endeavors, I have been looking at ways and means for Indigenous communities to keep revenue in the community by purchasing

supplies from themselves, as opposed to

that revenue going to big-box stores and

other retailers who, in many instances, take their Indigenous business for granted.

I formally launched eSupply Canada in

February 2020 based on the thesis that Indigenous communities, industry,

governments, and Canadians were growing tired of billion-dollar conglomerates and

instead wanted to support an Indigenous

company given the opportunity. I am pleased to say that the support eSupply Canada has received has been amazing!


Now that I have proven the concept and refined the

In addition to supporting requests for PPE, I

Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs across

and focus its efforts toward supporting

business model, I am bringing this opportunity to

Canada through franchising. I want to see Indigenous peoples and communities further benefiting from development in their territories, creating jobs,

transforming their economies, and creating generational wealth for their families and communities. An eSupply franchise can unlock some of those opportunities

because our franchise owners can easily integrate into

any business’s supply chain. We supply businesses with everything they need to keep operations running, from the front office to the job site and everywhere in between.

asked myself how eSupply could do more Indigenous communities. I had just

launched the company, so I was not in a

position to make financial contributions, but I realized that I did have access to the supplies communities needed to keep

operating. By forgoing profits, I could still play a part in supporting Indigenous

people’s communities. So, I offered at-cost

office supplies to Indigenous communities. I

started small by first offering supplies at the cost to the communities in my territory and then expanded to all Indigenous

communities in Ontario. This was a small In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we see a growing number of diverse communities seeking support. So, how has eSupply Canada supported

but important way to support communities and the people working hard to keep their members safe.

Indigenous communities throughout the pandemic? Steven Vanloffeld

As the demand for culturally sensitive

I launched the company on February 16, 2020, and three

organizations are working hard to

your business lines include office and industrial supplies,

communities, how do you feel about

because eSupply Canada operates from a drop ship

collaborations with Indigenous

services is growing, and many

weeks later, the entire world shut down. When two of

develop partnerships with Indigenous

and no one is working, it’s not a good place to be. But,

developing interactions and

model, we could go lean and keep operating.


We were also fortunate because we had access to PPE

Steven Vanloffeld

the midst of a pandemic, items such as masks, gloves,

Free, prior, and informed consent has

access to supply chains that allowed us to quickly pivot

Indigenous peoples and communities. Gone


Indigenous territories, stake claims, offer

through our industrial suppliers. When the world is not in and goggles are used on many job sites, so we had

become the basis for engagement with

to support Indigenous communities and businesses, and

are the days when companies would fly into beads and trinkets, extract the resources,

and disappear just as fast while leaving the local people to deal with the detrimental health and environmental impacts.

Indigenous peoples and communities are a force to be reckoned with, and successive

court rulings time and again reinforce this reality. The sooner companies realize this and begin putting in the effort to consult Indigenous peoples and communities

properly, the fewer risks and costs projects face.


Indigenous peoples, writ large, are not against development. Quite

Do you think some strategies need to be developed further to better work or communicate with Indigenous communities

the opposite. Many Indigenous

right now?

from development. Indigenous

Steven Vanloffeld

making tables, so they too can

I don’t think any strategies need to be developed. What needs to

territories while ensuring proper

attention to what Indigenous peoples are saying. Consultation

communities rely on and thrive peoples seek a seat at decisionbenefit from development in their protections are afforded to the

environment and their traditional ways of life. Extractive industries have a large environmental

impact, and if those industries

were operating in your backyard,

happen is industry and governments should start paying

and engagement with Indigenous peoples are not about getting to a ‘yes’; it’s about understanding the needs and concerns of the communities and finding mutually agreeable ways to

address them. Sometimes that’s not possible, and proponents should not only be aware of that reality but plan for it as well.

where you hunted, where you draw

I’m reminded of teaching: we have two eyes, two ears and one

children play, you too would want

much as we speak. And that teaching is important for

your water from, and where your to not only benefit from those

operations but to also have a say over how those companies

operate and the safeguards they must have in place.

Many companies have discovered

mouth for a reason–so that we can listen and observe twice as proponents to keep in mind as they engage with Indigenous peoples. Over the years, I’ve had conversations with many industry reps who have said once they let go of their

preconceived notions and predetermined ways and became the student, they not only learned so much more, but the

relationship was much richer and more rewarding because of it.

mutually beneficial partnerships

through consultation, engagement, and collaboration with Indigenous peoples. These partnerships have

I believe there are tremendous benefits to opening an office in an Indigenous community. So, in conclusion, what do you think would be the benefits of opening an

benefited Indigenous communities,

Indigenous office?

and the local impact on

Steven Vanloffeld

economies can be

I see your questions as having two parts. First, opening a

oil and gas company’s spending

due to office space availability. Yes, many thriving Indigenous

businesses and governments alike, Indigenous communities and their transformational. For example, one on Indigenous supplies

procurement was $911 million in 2020 alone. Since 1999, this

company has spent more than $6.5 billion on Indigenous

businesses. That is a remarkable figure and a shining example of

physical office in an Indigenous community can be a challenge communities have office and retail space available for lease. If there is a logical reason for acquiring office space in the

community, companies and governments should absolutely go for it. The more industry and governments can find meaningful ways to support Indigenous communities and businesses, the better off we all are, especially the Canadian economy.

the mutual benefits that can flow

However, many Indigenous communities have limited

and sustainable development are

these communities is likely not feasible.

when engagement, partnership, prioritized.

15 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

infrastructure and aging capital, so seeking office space in


That said, depending on the partnership, size and duration of a project, it would show real commitment to establish an office in the community and hire local

members to support the build. That shows commitment and partnership.

The other part to your question, I think,

deals with companies having offices of Indigenous relations, and I genuinely

believe that all companies should have

such business units. For example, suppose you run a company that operates in

Indigenous territories. In that case, you want to partner with Indigenous

communities or businesses, or you want

to attract Indigenous customers, there’s a lot to learn, and learn you must.

Decision-makers might find themselves asking, ‘why do I need an office of

Indigenous relations when I have an office committed to equity, diversity, and

inclusion?’ The reason is Indigenous

peoples are not EDI stakeholders, they are rights-holders, both inherent and

constitutionally protected, and these rights coupled with legislative

requirements require special attention. By establishing offices of Indigenous

relations, staffing them with Indigenous peoples, ideally people from the local

community, and properly resourcing the office will pay dividends for businesses. However, two of the biggest mistakes I

see are non-indigenous people in these

roles. When Indigenous people staff them, companies set unrealistic expectations

that they will drive organizational change and overhaul Indigenous relations with

Industry organizations like the Canadian Council for

Aboriginal Business offer a wealth of resources to help guide companies. And there are best practices, case

studies, and lessons learned from companies that have travelled this path before. Every journey starts with the first step, and I encourage all companies–big and

small–to set out on theirs today. Indigenous peoples

will meet you in the middle, where we can continue on our journey together.

little to no support staff and/or budget. The good news is, that companies are not

CanadianSME is proud to be a part of this vital

peoples are happy to step to the plate to

Indigenous communities. We need better

alone in this transformation. Indigenous help companies understand how to

interact with them and their communities. 16 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

discussion on working together more closely with understanding and cooperation with Indigenous communities for us all to succeed!


Destinee Peter

Owner, Tangles Hair & Beauty Salon

Inspiring Indigenous Woman Entrepreneur to follow

Destinee Peter is a force to be reckoned with. A member

By insisting her team be culturally sensitive, especially to

became the owner of Tangles Hair and Beauty Salon at

respects her heritage and culture. Destinee is dedicated

of Saskatchewan’s Carry The Kettle Nakoda Nation, she 22. Since taking ownership of the salon, she has grown the business significantly with her vision and passion, resulting in her gaining recognition throughout her

community. Not only has her journey as an entrepreneur been recognized as the owner of a successful growing

and thriving business, but she is also making a difference in the Indigenous community. For starters, five of her

female hairstylists are of Indigenous descent, and she is also promoting Indigenous economic development

across Canada. She also took the time to explain to her

team about her Indigenous background and how sacred hair is to Indigenous people.

17 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Indigenous clients, she has ensured that her salon to making her business grow and ensuring the

Indigenous community is recognized throughout her business’s success.

Now, eight years after taking ownership of the salon, her

Aware that everyone is going through a difficult

support from fellow local female entrepreneurs, Destinee is at

time to sit down with her team to find ways to

business is thriving more than ever. Through hard work and the height of her career. Her successful entrepreneurship

journey landed her a spot on the 2019 National Youth Panel where she didn’t hesitate to talk about the Indigenous

community and why it’s essential to support and encourage them.

time due to the pandemic, Destinee took the

help those in need. One of the ways the salon gave back was by providing free haircuts to clients facing financial pressures during the pandemic. Being able to give back to the

community that has contributed significantly to the success of her business was a no-brainer for Destinee, which was why she was beyond surprised by the overwhelmingly positive

response she received. She has always been passionate about giving back. Before the

pandemic, she used to teach cosmetology lessons to students in Carry the Kettle.

Focused on finding new ways to grow her

business, she recently invested in a laser hair removal machine, which now accounts for

twenty percent of her business. In addition, she continuously tries to find new ideas that can Destinee is very proud of her heritage and is always pleased to share her knowledge and journey

whenever she gets the chance. She knows that she wouldn’t be where she is had it not been for the

support and encouragement of her community,

which is why she is always looking for ways to give back to her community.

18 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

contribute to growth and success. She is always on the lookout for what is trending in the beauty

industry and actively listens to her client's needs to provide them with all the services and

products they need to keep them coming back.


Her success hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, she recently took home the Up

and Coming Award at the inaugural

Indigenous Entrepreneurship Awards, which was put in place by the

national non-profit Pow Wow Pitch.

Her successful journey has made it so many people, more specifically,

women, are now looking up to her. A facilitator at the Matchsticks

Indigenous Women Business

Mentoring Circle, a program that is run by Women Entrepreneurs of

Saskatchewan, Destinee is happy to provide advice and mentor young entrepreneurs. Having overcome

many challenges to be where she is today, she looks forward to sharing her knowledge and having people learn from her mistakes.

Destinee Peter is a proud female entrepreneur of Indigenous decent who has had a successful journey as an entrepreneur and is a true inspiration to many, especially the Indigenous community.


Point Grondine Park:

Rich with natural beauty and cultural heritage, Canada is a

Become one with nature at Point

travellers. What better way to explore the country than with

acres of scenic natural wilderness

desirable destination for national and international unique, memorable experiences that acknowledge

Canada’s heritage through Indigenous-owned tourism experiences. Finding authentic and Indigenous-owned

tourism experiences are made possible through the work of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). The

purpose of ITAC is to improve the socio-economic situation of Indigenous People within Canada, doing so by ensuring the provisions of Indigenous tourism operators and communities.

It is ITAC’s vision that Canadian tourism enables a thriving Indigenous tourism economy, sharing authentic,

memorable, and enriching experiences. Through strategic

partnerships, community support, and of course, incredible tourism opportunities, Indigenous voices can be amplified. Here are five notable authentic, Indigenous tourism experiences that support Indigenous-owned small businesses across the country.

20 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Grondine Park, featuring 18,000

and old-growth pine forest. This backcountry wilderness park,

located outside of Toronto, is ideal for those looking to explore deep within nature, including a wide

selection of hiking trails, canoe

trips, and backcountry camping.

The park is owned and operated by

the Wikwemikong Unceded Territory. The park operators invite you to reconnect with the land and

embrace their rich Anishinaabek

culture. Point Grondine promotes its heritage by partnering with various Indigenous organizations offering cultural tourism experiences for schools, groups, and families.


Salmon N Bannock:


As the first Indigenous-owned restaurant in

Located in the heart of Saskatchewan, Wanuskewin

Indigenous culture through delicious food and

and appreciation of the evolving cultures of the

Vancouver, Salmon N Bannock showcases

pride. Founded in 2010 by Remi Caudron and

Inez Cook, the restaurant represents a variety of First Nations Peoples including, Long Plain, Maori, Muskoday, Musqueum, Nuxalk, Nuu-

chah-nulth, Ojibway, St'at'lmc, Squamish, and Ts'msyen. The restaurant is a must-visit

experience for foodies, curious minds, and

cultural travellers, looking to taste authentic Indigenous cuisine.

Heritage Park works to advance the understanding Northern Plains Indigenous Peoples. Visitors to the heritage site have the opportunity to learn about the ancient petroglyphs recently uncovered by a

roaming herd of bison, walk the trails and explore the landscape that’s been continuously inhabited by Plains People for 6,000 years. Guests are

welcome to register and participate in cultural programs, tours, dance performances, and

workshops. The heritage site serves as a living

reminder of the peoples’ sacred relationship with the land.

Wapusk Adventures: Adventures, was opened in 2001 by Dave Daley

Pirates Haven ATV Friendly RV Park, Chalets & Adventures:

dream, Dave has grown the business into an

Pirates Haven Chalets and RV Park is an

Being an authentic Indigenous tourism

Trans Canada Trailway System. The park offers a

The sled dog adventure company, Wapusk

and his family. Starting with just 10 dogs and a award-winning company with 38 sled dogs. experience, Dave and his dogs as Wapsuk

Adventures are one of the few remaining dog sledding teams left in the area. Located in

northern Manitoba, Wapusk Adventures attracts thousands of global tourists every year.

Indigenous-owned park, located directly off the

wide variety of ATVs, bikes, and walking trails that allow guests to make the most of the natural

Atlantic Canada beauty. Tired adventurists can stay overnight at the chalets and enjoy the

luxuries of a hot tub and sauna for sore muscles. The park offers a variety of activities, including

fishing and RV camping. The site is based out of

Metis Crossing: Visiting Alberta? Stay at Metis Crossing, a new boutique lodge on the banks of the North

Saskatchewan River. This lodge invites visitors

to discover the rich history of the Métis People in Smoky Lake, Alberta, and experience the

area’s bountiful wildlife. Guests can experience

the scenic community of Robinson's, where the

land and ocean have catered to the needs of its people throughout history.

Indigenous tourism awaits. If you are interested in

learning more about authentic Indigenous tourism experiences in Canada, please visit

the wildlife firsthand through the Visions,

Hopes, and Dreams tour, which features sacred species including white bison and white elk. The lodge was designed as a year-round

destination to share the success, beauty, and

cultural enthusiasm that Métis Crossing strives to bring to the world.

Keith Henry is the President & CEO of the


Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) .

ITAC unites the

Indigenous tourism industry in Canada and enables collective support, promotion, and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol.

21 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Canada and it's

Indigenous Community By Darian Kovacs What Being Indigenous Means With a population of 38 million people, Canada features a diverse population and rich cultural heritage. Despite this

In Canada, there is a trend of

reflective of those who live here. Since first incepted, the

under the umbrella acronym,

single voice and perspective. Minority groups in Canada are

as BIPOC, increases the treatment

opportunities to access the same digital spaces. Increasing

diversity hires or token employees.

the Canadian media and digital marketing landscape.

cultures and heritage of

diversity, the digital landscape of Canada is less than

referring to Indigenous Peoples

world of digital marketing has been largely dominated by a

BIPOC. Using a blanket term, such

working to make their voices heard and increase

of Indigenous professionals as

digital equity can introduce a more representative voice in

This term diminishes the unique Canadians by failing to

acknowledge the individuality of

The Growth in Indigenous Businesses in Canada

the people it references.

Canadian Indigenous Businesses are currently growing at a

uniqueness of their individual

businesses. As a result, we are seeing more and more

their individuality through the

promote their products, services, and values within their

operate. Being an Indigenous

inclusion of Indigenous activists and beauty lines to the

things and it's time for unique

across the country, there is an increase in both supply and


Indigenous Peoples celebrate the

rapid rate, on average nine times faster than non-indigenous

communities and communicate

Indigenous Canadians embrace their culture and use it to

stories and businesses they

communities and business operations. From Sephora’s recent

person in Canada means many

increase of authentic Indigenous tourism opportunities

Indigenous perspectives to be


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Jelly Academy:

An Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First

Founded by Indigenous Entrepreneur,

organization helps by providing the tools required to

digital marketing course designed to

Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada. The

complete one's education and acts as a catalyst for Indigenous people to achieve their full potential.

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses: CCAB builds bridges between Indigenous and non-

Darian Kovacs, Jelly Academy is a educate all Canadians on the

fundamentals of digital marketing. Jelly Academy strives to be

accessible by offering scholarships

and advanced learning opportunities for Indigenous students.

Indigenous peoples, businesses, and communities

through diverse programming, providing tools, training, network building, major business awards, and national

events. The council works to increase opportunities for Indigenous people by approaching the business and digital landscape in an informed and professional manner.

Darian Kovacs: Darian Kovacs is the Indigenous founder of Vancouver-

based SEO company Jelly Marketing and digital marketing course, Jelly Academy. He brings 15 years of

marketing experience and a passion for education, and creativity. He is

First Nations Tech Council:

the host of the podcast Marketing

News Canada. Darian specializes in

BC-based organization, First Nations Tech Council (FNTC)

mixing PR with digital marketing and

equitable access to the tools, training and support to

internationally renowned brands on

innovation. Programs offered ranged from fundamentals

digital marketing and PR strategies.

works to ensure that Indigenous peoples have full and

has worked with numerous

maximize the opportunities presented by technology and

developing and executing their

and basic computer comprehension to more detailed and specific technical careers. 23 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

CANADIAN INDIGENOUS TIKTOK STARS By Darian Kovacs The popularity of social media continues to grow rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down. What once offered

an opportunity for users to share pictures with friends and family, has now become one of the largest forms of

advertising, collecting more than two billion dollars in

TikTok is a social media

platform that uses short-form

Canadian ad spend every year. Social media is now the

video footage. The app is used

products, with many of them relying on Influencers to

and allows individuals to

primary platform for brands to sell and promote their

by a typically younger audience

reach their intended audience. Influencers are social

express themselves through

media personalities that harness the ability to speak to a large social following on behalf of the products and services they work with.

singing, dancing, comedy, and even cultural traditions.

Indigenous TikTok stars such as

These social media influencers can request a large price

Fawn Wood, Michelle Chubb,

earning upwards of 4 figures for a single post. With the

and James Jones have

tag in exchange for their services, with many of them

Shina Novalinga, Mikey Harris,

growth of influencers (or content creators as they're often

become icons, representing

called), there is also an increase of diversity amongst

creators, including a community of Indigenous creators. These Indigenous social media icons redefine what it

means to be a social media star, leveraging the popular platform, TikTok, to share their culture and stories. 24 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Indigenous music, dance, community, and art.


The creative work of these individuals is

Unlike Instagram and

Canadians, both Indigenous and non-

video enables more of a

reaching an audience of younger

Indigenous, promoting their culture, educating settlers, strengthening

Indigenous community bonds, and uplifting other young creators in the process. TikTok offers what many other platforms do not, which is the freedom to create in a way

that is authentic and representative to the individual.

Michelle Chubb

Twitter, TikTok’s reliance on story to be shared and a

community relationship to build with the individuals. We’ve highlighted five of

Canada’s most influential

Indigenous TikTok creators and what you can expect from each of them:

James Jones

Michelle Chubb is from Winnipeg, Manitoba,

An indigenous dancer from the Treaty 6 territory

Michelle’s content is based on educating

large TikTok community following. His content

and part of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation. viewers about Indigenous rights, jingle

dress dancing, and authentic powwow

attire. She also recently became a new

mom. Michelle shares beading tutorials, traditional dancing, and social injustice

content about the Missing and Murdered

Indigenous Women and residential schools. Her viewers learn about the systemic and

direct racism that Indigenous people face every day. Michelle uses her platform to connect, educate, and empower. Her

content has earned her the 2021 Women of Influence award and a feature in Teen Vogue. You can find her on TikTok at @INDIGENOUS_BADDIE.

25 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

known as Edmonton, Alberta, James has earned a educates viewers with the history of traditional dance and he has been ranked one of the top 5 hoop

dancers in the world. His art form has allowed him to travel across Europe, China, Australia, and North

America, displaying his skills. As a previous finalist on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, James has

performed in front of all types of audiences, including hoop dancing on world tours with the Juno award-

winning group, A Tribe Called Red. You can watch his authentic dance videos by following him on TikTok at @NOTORIOUSCREE.


Fawn Wood

Mikey Harris

Shina Novalinga

Fawn Wood comes from a

From Winnipeg, Manitoba,

Shina gained popularity after

singing family, a Cree and

dance and choreography to

mother practicing Inuk throat

multi-generational traditional Salish background. Fawn

showcases her work as a

hand drummer, including her title as the first woman to ever win the Hand Drum

contest at the Gathering of Nation’s Pow-Wow. Her

channel offers a mix of

content, including comedy, singing, and relatable

Indigenous-focused videos. She includes PlainsCree

Phrases and Cree Morning Terms in her content as a

way of demonstrating her native language, with the

intent to help other young

Indigenous people recognize

Indigenous culture in popular media. She recently released an album with Buffalo Jump Records and is planning a

merchandise line and music

video. Follow along on TikTok with @FAWN.WOOD.

Mikey Harris brings authentic the TikTok stage. His dance style is best known for

blending traditional Métis

with jigging hip-hop dance

styles. His dance career has brought him to a variety of stages before TikTok,

including the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Canadian

Parliament Hill New Years

Bash, and the Indigenous Music Awards. While his

channel is primarily dance-

focused, it also incorporates

educational information and passionate discussions

about being Indigenous.

Mikey aims to educate and raise awareness for young

performers, creating space for all cultures in the social media world. Follow Mikey

and his dancing on TikTok: @MIKEYHARRISS.

posting videos of her and her singing. Living in Montreal

Quebec, her channel offers a beautiful tribute to the Inuit

culture and traditions. Shina’s

throat singing videos typically feature her mother and offer

a glimpse of the long-lost art form. The art of Throat singing was previously banned by Christian

Missionaries, as it was

believed to promote demonic practices. It has since seen a resurgence but is still a rare

skill to perform and practice.

Shina’s content demonstrates

the traditional arts, attire, and activities of Inuit people. Her videos are educational, cultural, and promote

Indigenous issues in beautiful, artistic ways. Follow her here: @SHINANOVA.

Darian Kovacs: Darian Kovacs is the Indigenous founder of Vancouver-based SEO company Jelly Marketing and digital marketing course, Jelly Academy. He brings 15 years of marketing experience and a passion for education, and creativity. He is the host of the podcast Marketing News Canada. Darian specializes in mixing PR with digital marketing and has worked with numerous internationally renowned brands on developing and executing their digital marketing and PR strategies.

26 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

HOW NOOKOOM LEARNING IS PROVIDING MÉTIS-LED TRAINING, FACILITATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Candace Lloyd had a vision. Proud of her Métis background and having a

strong reputation in her community as a Métis Traditional Knowledge Holder,

she wanted to share her knowledge with people around her so that they can use it to further grow and build an even stronger community. Since building a community is one of the main traditions of the Métis and the most

honored, Candace’s main goal is to find new ways to encourage people to connect and work together in harmony.

With that in mind, Candace founded Nookoom Learning, a Métis cultural awareness, and intercultural awareness consulting. The company was Candace Lloyd Founder at Nookoom Learning

founded in 2020 and has since become a leader of its kind in eastern Ontario. There has always been a significant gap in the Ontario Métis

relations when it comes to knowledge and community building. However, since the founding of Nookoom Learning, that gap is slowly closing and Candace is confident that with time, the gap will become non-existent.

24 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


Nookoom learning provides Métis-led training,

facilitation, and community engagement. The company is known for combining Métis culture and worldview to

deliver a unique learning and training experience for a

diverse clientele. There are three main learning services that Nookoom Learning provides to its clients: Cultural

Awareness Workshops, Métis-Led Facilitation, and Métis Education Specialization.

Cultural Awareness Workshops One of the biggest issues in our community at the

Métis Education Specialization Métis Education Specialization is crucial because it

moment is that many people have a lack of

not only builds and leads curriculum, but it also

This can often create prejudice and division among the

program is to attract people from the Métis

understanding when it comes to indigenous culture.

population. The Cultural Awareness Workshop provided by Nookoom Learning provides information about the Métis culture and its history. With interactive cultural

honors the Métis culture and history. The goal of this community so that they can learn more about their culture, history and what is means to be Métis.

awareness training workshops, this course aims to

Candace Lloyd launched Nookoom Learning with the

culture which will ultimately put an end to prejudice

and to further develop and grow it by providing

provide people with a better understanding of the Métis

hopes of uniting people from the Métis community

and cultural division within our society.

opportunities that Métis people are not aware of. This is a huge step in the aboriginal community because now people can learn more about the culture and

have a better knowledge of the Métis community. With companies such as Nookoom Learning, we are

creating awareness that the aboriginal community is strongly lacking.

Candace Lloyd is a Métis cultural advisor, speaker, and educator focused on cultural awareness

workshops, Truth and Reconciliation training, and

Métis-Led Facilitation

relationship building. Candace recognizes the power

The core of Nookoom Learning’s success. What better

building community is a time-honored tradition of

way to honor the Métis culture then by connecting

people from the Métis community so they can learn,

share the love of their culture and discuss opportunities

that are available to them? By hiring professionals from

Nookoom Learning to facilitate projects or events taking place, the Métis culture and knowledge will further spread, and its community will learn about

opportunities that they would not have known of otherwise.

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of bringing people together from all walks of life; the Métis. Her goal is to find pathways to work

together in the spirit of collaboration and harmony.


Carol Anne Hilton is an international Indigenous business leader that inspires many in her

community. A Hesquiaht woman of Nuu-chah-

nulth descent from the west coast of Vancouver

Island and from the house of Mam'aayutch, she is the founder of the Indigenomics Institute which focuses on empowering and developing the economy of Indigenous people. Through her

knowledge, expertise, and strategic insights, Carol Anne Hilton is focused on helping the Indigenous economy grow by driving multi-generational

impact nationally and globally. Her main goal is to

create a collective reality that’s focused on helping the Indigenous community develop their economy by helping them put in place strategies that empower it.

Not only is she a business leader and an international

speaker, but she has also written a book titled Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table. The book is mainly focused on increasing the visibility and role of the

Indigenous economy. Carol Anne Hilton introduces her book as the foundation of the economic and reconciliation of

Indigenous people, which she addresses as Indigenomics.

While her book talks about ways for the Indigenous economy to grow by building relationships, some of the main

highlights include the exposure of the false media narrative

of Indigenous dependency, the ongoing power shift and rise

of the modern Indigenous economy, and the unfolding story in the law courts that is testing the nation’s relationship with the Indigenous community. Her book is a crucial read for anyone looking to have a better understanding of the

Indigenous economy and its challenges, as well as business leaders looking to grow. In fact, several Indigenous

entrepreneurs refer to her book as a guide on how to

succeed when it comes to starting a business that will succeed over time.

29 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


Her single hashtag #indigenomics has created an

entire movement that is centered on rebuilding and

strengthening the Indigenous economies. Carol Anne’s work and contribution are not only empowering her heritage and Indigenous background, but it’s also driving the narrative of the multi-billion-dollar

Indigenous economic target. By providing the tools and resources to Indigenous entrepreneurs that can help

them grow, she is not only contributing to the nation’s growing economy, but she is also empowering

businesses that are Indigenous-led and ensuring their success for generations to come.

Carol Anne strongly believes that by providing the tools and resources to business leaders, there can be a solid partnership that will build meaningful innovations which will have a strong positive impact on Indigenous economies over time. Her successful professional career and her work within the Indigenous community have made her a true inspiration to her community and business leaders across the nation.

An advisor to the government of Canada and the First

Nations, Carol Anne Hilton has a solid reputation of being

successful and helping other entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Indigenous community succeed. Her

successful background speaks for itself: a multi-awardwinning business leader with extensive knowledge of

community social and economic development. She has

over two decades of experience in business development and economic design which has allowed her to have an extensive career in business and earned her recognition for her significant contributions and value creation in Indigenous economies.

30 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


Indigenous people have also faced more challenges when it comes to starting a business. Especially Indigenous women. It’s no surprise that women always face more obstacles than men when it comes to entrepreneurship, so one can only imagine the struggles that an

Indigenous woman would face. That’s where Kwe-Biz comes in. The

program is focused on helping Indigenous women succeed and build strong businesses. Not only do they support Indigenous women

entrepreneurs, but they also provide programs and workshops that can help them succeed and thrive. By providing online and in-person

business training and mentorship programs, Kwe-Biz is encouraging

entrepreneurship among Indigenous women. From the start-up phase

to existing businesses looking to grow, Kwe-Biz delivers ongoing support

to ensure that Indigenous women entrepreneurs have every opportunity to succeed in the business industry.

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Shyra Barberstock President & CEO, Okwaho Equal Source Inc.

INDIGENOUS SME Kwe-Biz Business Workshops This program has been specifically designed to help Indigenous women entrepreneurs take

their businesses to the next level. By providing

Kwe-Biz offers three main services that are all focused on helping Indigenous women entrepreneurs succeed: Business Accelerators,

networking opportunities and community workshops, Kwe-Biz Business Workshops

provide business expertise and knowledge for women entrepreneurs to help them succeed.

Business Workshops, and Mentorship Programs. Each of these services has one main goal: contributing to the success of Indigenous businesses led by women.

Kwe-Biz Business Accelerator Program The Kwe-Biz Business Accelerator Program is led by

Each workshop this program offers is centred

that can benefit the women from the Indigenous community

to the success of Indigenous women-led

Indigenous people who share their knowledge and expertise

who are looking to start or grow their businesses. Each of the topics that are delivered in the program is a crucial aspect that can strongly help Indigenous women entrepreneurs

succeed. Finance for business, entrepreneurship 101, small

business enterprise, branding & marketing, and e-business are just some of the topics that the program offers.

around important aspects that can contribute businesses. By attending these workshops,

Indigenous women entrepreneurs can learn

and further develop their business skills, and work on achieving their business goals. The

workshops are kept specifically small in size to create a safe and inclusive environment so

that each participant can go at their own pace and feel comfortable participating in the

different workshops that are available to them. Examples of workshops available are

marketing and sales, business pitching,

financial literacy, and different strategies for accessing capital for a start-up.

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INDIGENOUS SME Kwe-Biz Mentorship Program The Kwe-Biz mentors are experts in their field that can help

Indigenous women entrepreneurs think strategically so that they can reach their goals and objectives much faster and easier. Each of the mentors offers confidential information for Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to grow their

businesses. At no cost, the Kwe-Biz mentorship program is a great opportunity for participants who are looking for

guidance and tools that can help them succeed in the

business industry. They can help entrepreneurs when it

comes to making difficult business decisions and find new growth strategies that can help their business succeed.

Kwe-Biz is an Ontario-based program that was designed by Okwaho Equal Source in partnership with the WE-CAN

Program at Queen’s University, with funding from the WES

Ecosystem Fund for Southern Ontario., an Indigenous-owned and operated business. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development

Agency for Southern Ontario, the program was put in place

to help Indigenous women entrepreneurs succeed and grow

their businesses. Indigenous businesses contribute greatly to the nation’s economy and that’s why we need programs like Kwe-Biz to encourage and provide opportunities and support to Indigenous-led businesses.

To learn more about the Kwe-Biz program, visit:

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Lesley Hampton

Devon Fiddler

Sara & Cody

Sean McCormick

Jenn Harper

Patrice Mousseau

Lynn-Marie & Melissa-Rae Angus

Carrie Armstrong

Trisha Pitura & Mélanie Bernard

Mya Beaudry

Indigenous businesses contribute more than $30 billion to Canada’s economy. Projected to grow even more in the next few years, it’s our responsibility to encourage them and support them in any way we can. One of the ways we can encourage Indigenous-owned businesses is by choosing to purchase from them. This simple action will increase Indigenous visibility and raise awareness towards a community that desperately needs it.

With that in mind, here are 10 Indigenous Businesses in Canada that we can encourage going forward:

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Lesley Hampton

CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF LESLEY HAMPTON An Anishinaabe Artist and Fashion Designer, Lesley Hampton is the

founder of her name brand. Based in Toronto, her brand is focused on mental health awareness, body positivity, inclusiveness, and

authentic representation in media. A member of the Temagami First Nation, Lesley has been described by the Globe and Mail as an

“important Indigenous face in the Canadian fashion landscape”. Her

athleisure line is centred around her heritage culture and Indigenous roots. She recently signed a contract with BNM Model Manager as a curve model and she is also a speaker on Indigenous

entrepreneurship. Through her social media and personal brand, she has been able to grow her company and gain recognition for her hard work and unique approach to promoting her business. An

ambassador for equality and diversity and known for representing authenticity through her products and style, Lesley Hampton is quickly shaping and bringing a unique view to her Indigenous background and culture.


SheNative was founded by Devon Fiddler through her passion for fashion and ambition. Having been the victim of racism and

stereotypes as an Indigenous woman, Devon was devoted to helping First Nations entrepreneurs succeed, which ultimately

inspired her to become an entrepreneur herself. Today she is the

founder and CEO of her own company which delivers leather goods and apparel. All her products are focused on inspiring Indigenous women and helping them feel elevated. SheNative creates

handbags and other apparel that represent and share Indigenous culture. Having been the victim of racial profiling, Devon is

committed to breaking the barrier by finding ways to create strength and a strong social impact. One of the initiatives that the company has put in place is to employ Indigenous women in the design and manufacturing of their products. Additionally, the company is

involving Indigenous communities and customers in their design

process and giving 2% of its revenue towards causes that have a positive impact on the lives on Indigenous women.

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Starting a business during a global pandemic has several

challenges. But that didn’t stop Sara Martin and Cody Isaac from

starting their clothing line in North Okanagan. Cody is of Syilx Nation and is passionate about sharing his heritage and culture through

the designs of their brand. Wanting to provide people everywhere with apparel that is comfortable and high quality and that also

represents Cody and Sara’s love of the Okanagan culture, together

they launched North Okanagan. They started their company in 2020, right amid a global pandemic. It might not have been the brightest idea to many, but for them, it seemed like the perfect time. Since then, they have grown their basement operation into a full-scale

business that has gained popularity throughout the country. North Okanagan is a small company that represents Indigenous culture through its products and is slowly expanding into delivering many more ideas that will encourage and increase the visibility of Indigenous communities.

Sean McCormick

PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, MANITOBAH MUKLUKS Cultural appropriation has, without a doubt, always been one of the

biggest challenges when it comes to the fashion industry, especially for Indigenous communities. One of the most popular items being duplicated from the Indigenous communities is mukluks and

moccasins. Manitobah Mukluks is an Indigenous-owned brand that delivers products made by the Indigenous community. Focused on

helping Indigenous people grow and raise awareness, the company ensures that the Indigenous culture is preserved and respected.

Manitobah Mukluks also works with Indigenous creators and artists

to provide them with equal opportunities and share their culture with the world. Although some products are outsourced to compete with other non-Indigenous-owned brands, a majority of their products are made locally in Manitoba. The company is focused on raising awareness towards Indigenous communities and is constantly finding new opportunities to include and promote them.

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Jenn Harper

FOUNDER, CHEEKBONE BEAUTY Founded in 2016, Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned

Canadian cosmetics company. Known for the high-quality crueltyfree beauty products, the company has built itself a strong

reputation for providing cosmetics products that are designed for low environmental impact and maximum wearability. Their most

popular product is their signature SUSTAIN line of lipsticks and eye

pencils and their Warrior Women liquid lipsticks which can be found at Sephora Canada. All their products are natural and organic-

based and focused on using ingredients that create less waste and

are environmentally friendly. Dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Indigenous youth, Cheekbone Beauty donates to important

causes such as the educational funding gap. Their goal is to create a space in the beauty industry that recognizes and represents Indigenous youth. Since its launch in 2016, the company has

donated over $150,000 to several causes such as One Tree Planted, Navajo Water Project, and the FNCFCS.

Patrice Mousseau

CEO, FOUNDER OF SATYA ORGANIC SKIN CARE Patrice Mousseau started her company as a personal solution to

help her daughter that was diagnosed with eczema at a young age.

Not wanting to give her child a steroid cream that was prescribed by her doctor, Patrice created her own balm that would clear her

daughter’s eczema within just a few days. That’s how Satya Organic

was born. Filled with all-natural ingredients that are non-toxic, Satya Organic is a great company for people who are looking for skincare products that are natural-based and chemical-free. All their skincare products include five simple natural ingredients: Organic calendula petals

Organic beeswax

almond oil

Organic colloidal oatmeal

Organic cold-pressed sweet

Organic cold-pressed jojoba

Satya Organic has gained great recognition for their cruelty-free,

family-friendly, hypoallergenic, and chemical-free skincare products that soothe and relieves even the driest and itchiest skin.

37 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Lynn-Marie & Melissa-Rae Angus CO-FOUNDERS OF SISTERS SAGE Founded by sisters Lynn-Marie and Melissa-Rae Angus who are of

Gitxaala, Nisga’a, and Metis Nations descent, Sisters Sage is a beauty company that handcrafts wellness and self-care products such as salves and soap while using traditional Indigenous ingredients like

cedar, lavender, and sage. Each product is 100% vegan and crueltyfree. Founded in 2018, Lynn-Mary and Melissa-Rae started the

company in hopes of creating a business that could help others

while sharing their culture and heritage with the world. Passionate about artisan products, the Angus sisters decided to launch a

business that was focused on their passion and pays homage to

their Indigenous heritage. Within the last three years, the company has been growing and gaining recognition all throughout the country.

Carrie Armstrong

FOUNDER OF MOTHER EARTH ESSENTIALS Founder Carrie Armstrong comes from a long line of Cree Medicine Women. She started her company to share nature-inspired

teachings that are rooted in the sacred plants of the Medicine

Wheel. Fearing that the generational teachings were threatened,

Carrie worked with her elders and medicine people to create and

grow Mother Earth Products. All the products use natural ingredients

and are based on traditional recipes that were passed down from a

generation of Indigenous healers. Passionate about her heritage and culture, Carrie focuses on selling products such as soaps, oils,

candles, hair care products and so much more. She also recently published her book Mother Earth Plants for Health & Beauty:

Indigenous Plants, Traditions and Recipes which includes many great skincare and beauty recipes. Mother Earth Essentials is a

company that not only increases the visibility towards Indigenous culture, but it also provides and delivers natural-based products and recipes that have been passed down from a generation of healers.

38 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Trisha Pitura & Mélanie Bernard FOUNDERS, MINI TIPI

A female-owned company and Indigenous-led, founders Trisha

Pitura and Mélanie Bédard started Mini Tipi in 2016. The company

sells beautiful hand-crafted designs sewn locally in Quebec. They

are mostly known for their blankets, ponchos, mittens, and shawls, among their many products. Constantly looking for new ways to

increase visibility and support the Indigenous community, Mini Tipi

collaborates with Indigenous artists across the country. By doing so, not only is the company setting itself apart, but they are also supporting artists and celebrating their heritage. In addition,

founders Trisha and Mélanie are beyond dedicated to giving back to the community every chance they can. This is why they constantly donate to local food banks and Indigenous women crisis centers

and share their products with those in need. Mini Tipi is setting itself apart from other companies through generous donations and promoting Indigenous culture.

Mya Beaudry

FOUNDER AND CEO OF KOKOM SCRUNCHIES Who says you need to be an adult to start a company? For example, 10-year-old Mya Beaudry created Kokom Scrunchies. This Algonquin, originally from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, started the

company based on an idea she had. Since then, she has grown the company nationwide and provides scrunchies to everyone. Each

scrunchie is handmade in Canada and personally designed by Mya, who ensures they are made with love. Kokom (meaning

grandmother) has expanded in several different products such as scarves, hair bows, and socks, all uniquely designed and just as

colourful as her original scrunchies. What better way to encourage Indigenous businesses and support them than by purchasing products from their younger generation?

39 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

How First People’s Economic Growth Fund is Empowering Canadian Indigenous Entrepreneurs? More than 20 years ago, Joella Hogan started

Indigenous Businesses Impacting the Local Communities

Canada. With this venture, she thought of

Indigenous businesses are actually motivated by

her Indigenous firm, Yukon Soaps Company, in combining her passion for getting in touch

with the people from her community, elders, her language, with the world. She asked

elders and children to collect rose petals and juniper berries for producing her soaps. Most

of her products are taken by tourists as Yukon souvenirs.

their revenue. However, they also love the fact that

they have a kind of environmental footprint and an impact on the local communities. Several women Indigenous entrepreneurs identify themselves as ‘creators’. They see their company as a creative

outlet and a way of meeting the requirements of their communities. A lot of these women

entrepreneurs make use of “traditional knowledge Like Hogan, there are numerous other

or cultural expressions in their business”. Also, a lot

who tried to make it big as an entrepreneur.

services, products, and processes.

new businesses at a rate of five times more

Like several other small-scale businesses in

these businesses are already worth billions.

heavily impacted by the global pandemic. They

are more than 19,000 businesses that are

management, with a dip in revenues, and an

generates more than $10 billion as yearly

covering their overall operations costs. Businesses

revenues for their owners, the Indigenous-led

supply chain were hit badly by Covid-19. The

community by providing them with essential

source of revenue and employment for a lot of

examples of successful Indigenous people

Today, Indigenous people are coming up with

of them are innovators and exporters of new

than the non-Indigenous communities. And

Canada, even the Indigenous businesses were

As per a report by Statistics Canada, there

faced huge disruptions in their supply chain

located in the Indigenous communities, which

increase in the need for working capital for

revenues together. Apart from generating

in industries like retail, tourism, and resource

businesses have a huge impact on the

shutdown of several casinos also eliminated a vital

goods and services, along with creating

First Nation communities.

several jobs. Today, at least one in three Indigenous businesses in Canada have

created employment for the common people. 40 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


The Indigenous business communities are

· Deprived Socioeconomic Status

position. They face unique challenges

Most of the Indigenous entrepreneurs aren’t well-

obstacles have hindered their growth, and

average Canadians, with just a few having university

already in an economically disadvantaged almost every single day. And all of these

they have found it pretty difficult to sell their products and services to the global marketplaces.

Key Challenges Faced by the Indigenous Businesses in Canada

educated. Their education level is lower than the

degrees. The Indigenous Peoples account for around

30% of Canada’s federal prison population. Also, of all the women incarcerated federally, approximately 42% are Indigenous. Ironically, the small Indigenous

businesses are generally run and owned by women.

On average, the Indigenous entrepreneurs have lesser financial resources and have a small base of assets for collateral compared to the non-Indigenous

Here is a gist of the challenges that most of

businesses. This makes it hard for Indigenous

facing due to global disruptions related to

growth and sustainment.

the Indigenous businesses in Canada are

businesses to access the working capital needed for

the pandemic.

· Poor Access to Working Capital This is the central issue for most of the

Indigenous businesses in Canada. Most of

them do not have a good relationship with traditional banks. Also, they often face

institutional bias as they are often seen as a higher risk. These businesses often lack the collateral needed to get loans and credits.

Even though some have assets, it gets tough to secure a loan through them.

Conclusion Keeping every single aspect listed above in mind, and in response to the global pandemic, the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund (FPEGF) is striving to deliver the Emergency Loan Program to the Indigenous

businesses in Canada. This is termed the Indigenous

Business Stabilization Program (IBSP) and is given on behalf of the Government of Canada. FPEGF has approved a little more than $2.0 million for the

businesses that were severely impacted by Covid-19. Additionally, when the pandemic first hit, FPEGF

deferred all the loan payments for 6 months. Also, the company extended loan payment deferrals to some

· Remoteness of Communities

of their clients who wanted additional assistance for

Be it in Nunavut, Northern Ontario, Labrador,

local clients to help them in whichever way they can.

location of the Indigenous businesses often

may arrive unannounced in the future.

tough to ship goods. It is also logistically

In case you have any queries related to FPEGF loan

roads, highways, or airports nearby. Even

FPEGF and get all your questions answered.

proper internet services, staying connected

To know more about Indigenous businesses and small

suppliers, customers, and financial

forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME

or the Northwest Territories, the remote

creates several problems. Sometimes it gets difficult to ship goods if there are no proper without a reliable network connection and

survival. FPEGF plans on continuing its work with its They will also monitor new recovery programs that

referrals, consult with your Loans Account Manager at

gets difficult. Making communication with

and medium-sized businesses in Canada, do not

institutions is often troublesome.

Small Business Magazine.

41 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


In Canada, the I-ACE program is the only Indigenous codesigned and community-delivered entrepreneurship

program. Their programs offer prospective Indigenous

entrepreneurs the needed knowledge, skills, and mentorship that’s required to successfully start and manage a

company. The program also serves the community with the confidence that they need to march ahead in fostering economic development for the country without

compromising on their traditional Indigenous values and customers.

How ACE Started?

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business of the University of

Victoria founded the Indigenous Advancement of Cultural

Entrepreneurship (I-ACE) in 2013. The I-ACE program marks itself as the nation’s only Indigenous co-designed

entrepreneurship program, delivered in First Nations

communities and centred on their priorities. Since its

inception, the School has worked with around 67 Indigenous communities in British Columbia and has produced 604 graduates and 200 start-ups.

Ex Haida Nation council president, Miles Richardson, has

mentioned that the success of I-ACE demonstrates that the business schools should be more flexible in their approach and delivery. I-ACE initially received $1 million as funding

from the Bank of Montreal. Richardson also mentioned that the First Nations communities seek a productive economic relationship with Canada.

42 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


I-ACE – Courses

The Indigenous ACE or I-ACE program offers courses that are well-suited for students looking for an opportunity to learn more

about lean start-up methodologies. The

students can learn about the usage of this methodology and understand the target Cory Stephens – Awarded for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and CIBC has announced that Cory

Stephens received the 2021 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations. This award was presented to him because he challenged the status quo and

audiences better. They will also gain an opportunity to learn several research

techniques, gain multiple experiences, and validate a sustainable business model.

Moreover, the I-ACE program’s educators will work with the students to develop a

marketing strategy for reaching out to the customers.

advanced Indigenous business relations. Mr.

Stephens is a fantastic example of a person who thrives on taking Canada's Aboriginal and

Indigenous business to the next level of success. Cory Stephens was born and raised in Prince

Rupert and had a Tsimshian mother. He had a Nisga’a stepfather. He grew up in different

communities and cultures, which increased his

interest in advancing Indigenous business relations and entrepreneurship. He graduated in commerce from the Gustavson School of Business at the

University of Victoria. He dedicated his knowledge and expertise to bridging the gap between Indigenous entrepreneurs and the national

business landscapes by respecting the culture and tradition. In addition, he tried to build a connection

The 8S of I-ACE


Upon the successful completion of the

Stephens worked with several companies and

certificate that will represent their

Print Consulting in Prince Rupert, B.C. His company

correspond to an eagle, with the final two

communities while preserving Indigenous traditions

students will be ready to launch their

and understanding with the non-Indigenous

course, the students from I-ACE will receive a

government trade organizations. He founded Foot

achievements. Each of the certificates will

aimed at supporting the growth of Indigenous

steps symbolizing the flight of an eagle as

and customers. He developed the training and


capacity program for Health Canada that he

thought would become the best practices model for Pacific Coast First Nations organizations.

43 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022



Seeing – The eagle's spirit certificate

indicates that students have looked inside to discover their entrepreneurial individuality. With their eagle spirit, they are now ready to look outwards. 2.

Spotting – A student with an eagle vision

certificate has proven proficient enough to look out towards the horizon for finding the entrepreneurial chances that are right for them. 3.

Shaping – A student who has found their

flock has learned about their target audiences and discovered how to provide them with value. 4.

Stimulating – Once a student completes

the first loop of the 8S's, they will prove that they are fully equipped and are well-prepared to move from personal development to entrepreneurial development. 5.

Strengthening – A student who has found

their call has perfectly learned how to differentiate themselves from their competitors. 6.

Seizing – A student who has earned their

claws has learned how to seize their market share that is right for their business. 7.

Soaring – Once a student earns their wings,

they are ready to take flight with all of the components of their business plan. 8.

Sharing - A student who has built their nest

has proven their ability to share their newfound success. Although they have been doing this in every stage of their journey, this certificate is a final reminder of their ability to give back.

44 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Conclusion Indigenous businesses play a huge role in

shaping the economy of the nation. Although Indigenous people are finding it hard to gear up after this pandemic scare, it’s time to

provide them with the needed support. And

several companies like CCAB are doing their part to provide the Indigenous communities

with the needed strength and help them shape a prosperous Indigenous community.

To learn more about Indigenous businesses in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our Canadian IndigenousSME Small Business Magazine.

The Growth of Women Entrepreneurship in Canada Women entrepreneurship in Canada is on the

rise. According to a study, there are more than 360,000 self-employed women in the country, with an increase of 30% in the women-owned

A Summary of Canadian Women in Business

companies in Canada in the last ten years. This

The numbers of women entrepreneurs in

Also, for every woman who aims at having their

typical businesswoman in Canada is

behave like a motivational push. Research has

management experience compared to

entrepreneurs in Canada, there has been an

entrepreneurs are most likely to start early

nation’s GDP.

retail and service. As a result, women

So, what is a typical woman in business in

money as their male counterparts.

Canadian women entrepreneurs choose to start

Also, Canadian women in business are

data is quite inspiring for both men and women.

Canada are ever-growing. On average, a

own business in Canada shortly, this data can

young, with just a few years of

also shown that with the growth of women

male entrepreneurs in the country. Women

estimated rise of around $150 billion in the

and run small businesses in industries like entrepreneurs do not make as much

Canada like? What kind of industries do these

However, the gap seems to be closing now.

their careers as business owners? How many

more likely to be solo entrepreneurs.

women-led businesses are there in Canada at

present? We will try to answer it all in this article.

45 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


A Few Facts on Women Entrepreneurship

Current Situation of Women

in Canada

Entrepreneurship in Canada

According to an October 2020 report by the

According to an October 2020 report by the

women entrepreneurs in Canada are growing in

entrepreneurs in Canada are growing in their

Brookfield Institute Canada, the number of their own way.

Women lag when it comes to entrepreneurship in Canada. And this is why women are often excluded from the benefits of

entrepreneurship, which affects their ability to grow their companies. Such discriminations persist.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) suggests that if both women and men participated

equally as entrepreneurs, there would have

been an increase of around $2.5 trillion to $5 trillion in the global economy, with a further rise of six percent worldwide GDP.

Brookfield Institute Canada, the women way.

According to a 2019 BDC study, currently,

women comprise 28% of all business owners in Canada. The women entrepreneurs in

Canada also benefit from being a part of an extreme business environment, clubbed with social and political stability. They also have

access to education which helps them start and grow their business. The Federal Government of Canada also aims at

supporting such women business owners through a $2 billion program so that the

number of women-owned businesses can double by 2025.

McKinsey Global Institute estimated that in

Summing It Up

entrepreneurial equality can add $150 billion in

The Government of Canada is trying to

Canada alone, the advancement in women's the incremental GDP by 2026.

A study also suggests that a 10% increase in

women-owned SMEs in Canada would add up to $198 billion to the nation's GDP.

support women entrepreneurs in the country. It thoroughly aims at supporting gender

equality in business. Its efforts include pay equity, affordable child care, and ending gender-based violence. So, if you are a

woman and looking forward to starting your

own business in Canada, this is probably the right time to take the plunge. 46 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


The Canadian Centre for Aboriginal Entrepreneurship, Inc CCAE or the Canadian Centre for Aboriginal Entrepreneurship is for

every single Canadian. It is meant for the Indigenous people to do big in Indigenous entrepreneurship as The Canadian Centre for Aboriginal

Entrepreneurship, Inc. Similarly, it is equally for all the non-Indigenous

communities as the Canadian Centre for Accelerated Entrepreneurship. CCAE provides its clients with entrepreneurship project management resources, entrepreneurship training, oral and writing services on Entrepreneurship and the New Gig Economy, and consulting to

government and Indigenous businesses, organizations and individuals.

CCAE does this by forming virtual partnerships through complementary team members.

The organization is owned by Bruce Lacroix, President, and CEO. He was

born in Halifax of mixed Mi’kmaq and French heritage. Bruce now resides in the beautiful heritage town of Nelson, BC, along with his family. Bruce regards himself as a lifelong entrepreneur who believes himself to be a ‘terrible employee’ while working for others. However, Bruce achieves great success while working in collaboration with others.

47 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022



CCAE – Goals & Mission CCAE’s mission is to strengthen, promote and enhance a prosperous Indigenous business

economy by fostering strong business relationships,

thereby using opportunities and awareness for all of its members.

Over the past 25 years, the Canadian Centre for

Aboriginal Entrepreneurship, Inc. and the Canadian Centre for Accelerated Entrepreneurship (NonIndigenous) has supported more than 3,500

entrepreneurs in Canada and the Caribbean to

promote successful self-employment. If you belong

to the Indigenous community and wish to have your own business soon, or if you already are an

Indigenous business owner, you can get assistance

from the CCAE to form a successful and sustainable business community.

About Aboriginal BEST


CCAE’s BEST aims at nurturing the entrepreneurial

If you can relate to whatever you have just

organizations. Here, the participants can meet the

in Canada. The Indigenous business

spirits of the people, communities, and

guest speakers, identify capable business ideas to

determine their possibilities, and take further steps to start and grow their Indigenous businesses. By

being a part of this, you will learn about conducting market research, writing business plans, and

read above, you should be a part of the CCAE communities in Canada are growing in leaps

and bounds. And it is now time to gear up and start taking baby steps ahead to the path of success.

exploring financing options on your enticing journey to your self-employment success path.

If you wish to learn more about such Indigenous businesses in Canada, do not forget to

Aboriginal BEST is for Aboriginal, Métis, and Inuit

status. This is also for those who do not belong to

these communities but are interested in becoming

self-employed or starting their own company. BEST can benefit you throughout your business

development path and help you turn your dreams

into reality. If you wish to grow your venture, being a part of BEST could be the best option for you. More

than 3000 people in around 130 communities across Canada have already participated in the Aboriginal BEST in the past 15 years.

48 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

subscribe to the CanadianSME Monthly small business magazine.

Teara Fraser CEO / Founder at Iskwew Air

An Indigenous Wonder Woman to Follow!

Teara Fraser could be gladly called a wonder woman entrepreneur in Canada. She is the

Founder of the first-ever female-founded airline

company, Iskwew airlines, which is now buzzing in and out from the Vancouver Island airport. Teara is now one of the top 25 Women of Influence in

Canada. However, Fraser wishes to do more for

the Indigenous community. She also believes that the Indigenous youth is one of the fastest-

growing demographics in Canada. And with

Iskwew airlines, she just took her first step towards uplifting this community in her way.

49 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

How Did it Start?

About Teara Fraser

Teara, a Canada-based single mother of

Teara was born in the Northwest Territories of

2001 and soon realized that she was meant

entrepreneur calls herself a ‘proud Métis woman.

two, got into a small aircraft in October

to be a pilot. So she made up her mind of flying airplanes, and within a year, she

became a certified commercial pilot. She would fly passengers in northern British Columbia, and as a young Indigenous

woman, she aimed at making it big in the male-dominated aviation industry.

She founded Iskwew (pronounced as ISSKWAY-YO) airlines, an air charter company based out of Vancouver International Airport, it recently started its operation between Vancouver International Airport and Qualicum Beach Airport, four times a week.

Canada. This 49-year-old indigenous woman

She is a part of the Indigenous group with very

distinctive customs, collective identity, and a way of life. In 2010, she started as an entrepreneur and founded an aerial survey business that allowed

Fraser to combine two things that she dearly loved; aviation and the land that belonged to her

ancestors. After six years, she sold that business

and a kind of rebirth happened with her dream of being an Indigenous entrepreneur.

While launching her airline, she said, “We need

airplanes, but we also need to be really thinking

about reciprocity with the land and how we walk

more gently on our Mother Earth.” And while doing so, she wishes to be part of the solution that will

“honour, uplift and energizes [the] indigenous land story, sovereignty and stewardship.”

To know more about Iskwew airlines, visit here To know more about Teara Fraser, visit here To learn more about such dynamic women entrepreneurs in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

50 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

Justin Hall A Dynamic Indigenous Entrepreneur to Look up to Owner, Nk’Mip Cellars The winemaking at Nk’Mip Cellars is led by Justin Hall, a member of the Osoyoos Band. He grew up in Osoyoos, British Columbia, and first joined Nk’Mip Cellars after completing his High School

graduation. He wanted to be a mechanic, but after a few days in his job life as a cellar hand, he ultimately got hooked. He discovered a new passion for winemaking and now is the Estate

Winemaker at the Nk’Mip Cellars, producing unique and award-winning wines. Justin Hall is proud to be the world’s first indigenous winemaker and protector of the land, creating delicious, unique, and expressive wines while taking indigenous entrepreneurship to newer heights. All Images, trademarks, service marks and logos referred to or appearing in this magazine are the property of their respective owners.


The Journey from Cellar Hand to Estate Winemaker

Hall knew that winemaking was

something he wanted to do more

seriously from the beginning. So on the fourth day [of his first job], he

He always wanted this as his profession since he states that he was born to produce the finest of wines for people

worldwide. He wants to study viticulture and enology in New

Zealand’s cooler climate and further his ambition to become

a top winemaker someday. Hall’s energy is so infectious, that he’s turning out to be an inspiration for many indigenous business groups to come.

enrolled himself at a local college in Penticton. He met a few friends,

Justin Hall’s Idea Behind Wine Names

and studied the ins and outs of wine.

The band’s culture infiltrates Nk’Mip in different ways, starting

Hall continued to hone his skills at

called Qwam Qwmt (pronounced as kw-em kw-empty),

started tasting wines on their own,

Lincoln University in Australia and

New Zealand. Although he did not receive a traditional academic

education like his classmates, he did have many years of practical

experience that allowed him to

connect what he had learned in the vineyard with theory.

with the names on the bottles. Its premium table wine is

which translates as “achieving excellence”. Hall states that

the name was given to reflect its excellence and perfection. He believes that there is no such word in the Okanagan

dictionary or language as inherently perfect, and even the

smallest things are always flawed. So Qwam Qwmt is in the

stage of achieving perfection. This wine is produced in very limited quantities and is considered to be worthy of such a title, believes Hall.

He took evening classes at Okanagan

On the other hand, Mer’r’iym means ‘marriage’ and is the

certificates in the Winery Assistant

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc.

University College, receiving his

and Viticulture programs. Then, to

ideal name for a wine representing the union of Nk’Mip’s

learn more about the complexities of large-scale wineries and the many

A Brief about Nk’Mip Cellars

the winemaking process, Justin

Nk’Mip Cellars offers a wide range of fine wines in three

roles and responsibilities involved in travelled to Western Australia to work at Goundrey Winery.

Justin returned to Nk’Mip Cellars after graduating from the University of

Lincoln, New Zealand, with a Master’s

degree in Brewing and Viticulture. He took on the role of an assistant winemaker.

Justin was promoted to the role of Winemaker in May 2017. Being a

dedicated and devoted member of the Osoyoos Indian band, Justin

collaborates with Randy Picton to create the award-winning Nk’Mip Cellars wine.

levels: Winemaker’s Series, Qwam Qwmt, and Mer’r’iym. These premium wines have earned high marks and praise from

critics. In fact, in 2019, Qwam Qwmt Syrah was awarded the

British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards and also received a Gold Medal.

About 500 Osoyoos Indian Band members monitor the

sweet-smelling area of Osoyoos to make sure their practices are as sustainable as possible. It is located in the driest and

hottest region of Canada (the southern end of the Okanagan Valley amidst the Osoyoos desert) with a land estimated to be 300 acres, producing an average of 18,000 cases per

year. Hall and his troop are the protectors of the land and

believe it should be left in a better place from the time of his arrival at Osoyoos in order to craft the finest of wines at Nk’Mip Cellars.

You can also scroll through their website: to learn more.

The Importance of Creating an Inclusive Ecosystem for Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs Firstly, we are going to start off

To make entrepreneurship accessible to the Indigenous women of Canada, the country should:

with a question, "What would it take to make sure that all

indigenous women in Canada have the opportunity to grow

Develop gender-specific programs for Indigenous women;

into an entrepreneur?" Although

Create a special fund for aboriginal women's entrepreneurship;

to a seemingly intricate issue, it

Facilitate access and promote awareness using the latest communication technologies.

there isn't any simple solution is quite a known fact that

entrepreneurship is a rising and promising path. To empower

The challenges that Indigenous women face while

their lives, uplift their

Firstly, because they are women, and secondly, they are

their families. All it can be

perspective when considering their challenges. This point

action to bring massive impact

by overlapping and multiple identities (race, gender,

aboriginal women

different ways. It helps us understand how aboriginal

indigenous women to enhance

pursuing entrepreneurship are complex and diverse.

communities, and strengthen

Indigenous. Therefore, it is vital to use an intersectional

achieved with relatively little

of view emphasizes that human experience is mediated

on enriching opportunities for

age) that collectively affect diverse people in many


women face these challenges more than non-Indigenous women or Indigenous men, allowing us to develop solutions to meet their unique needs.

53 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


Benefits of Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship offers Aboriginal women many

opportunities to enhance their lives by achieving

stability and financial independence. We know that

entrepreneurship is a challenging role, especially for Indigenous women entrepreneurs, but can improve the socio-economic conditions of individuals and

communities as a whole. Today, Aboriginal women are starting businesses at twice the rate of Canadian women.

Aboriginal women view entrepreneurship as a

chance to refine their family's quality of life and

are also likely to pay off their loans compared to

Breaking Barriers While Aboriginal women pursuing entrepreneurship face numerous

challenges, one thing that sets them

apart is their ability to overcome any

obstacles and their inspiring resilience.

Therefore, to effectively help Aboriginal women seek entrepreneurship,

understanding these barriers are significant.

Lack of Access to Capital for Equity


Their lives through entrepreneurship benefit the entire community.

Successful women entrepreneurs act as role models. Compared to the workplace, entrepreneurship offers many advantages to Indigenous women.

Since entrepreneurs are bosses of their own, their work schedules are much more flexible.

Entrepreneurs can set their own time and

organize work according to their schedule,

simplifying work-life balance since family life is often a severe problem for women who bear most of the responsibility for raising their

Since Aboriginal people live totally on

reserve, they do not own any property. Thus, they cannot get loans from

financial and traditional institutions for the need of collateral. Even with the capital, they still have to put share capital to qualify for a loan. High

unemployment rates directly translate to difficulty in raising money for equity,

especially for Indigenous women. It's too difficult for them to save money for

equity, ultimately making it invisible to

the lenders. Lack of credit is also stated to be a major hindrance for Aboriginal women seeking loans.


Having control over their own business means

choosing the amount of responsibility they want to assume.

Entrepreneurship also gives Indigenous women a

sense of satisfaction and the purpose of creating something from scratch. This often allows them

to work in a passionate zone, making them much more successful than regular jobs.

Inability to Work Full-Time Many banks also require borrowers to

work full-time, which is impossible for many women due to household

responsibilities. As a result, many women are attracted to entrepreneurship since

it allows them to work part-time, helping them to balance several other aspects of their lives.

54 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022


Lack of Education

Diversity of Circumstances

Lack of education, especially financial

Indigenous women in Canada are diverse, and the

Aboriginal people are less likely to

specifically, face unique challenges. Many programs

literacy, is also a significant obstacle.

complete secondary education than other Canadian groups. Since they cannot sketch out a robust business plan or

explore a financial institution, it turns out

to be highly cumbersome for them to get a loan.

obstacles they face are very different. Métis women,

designed to help Indigenous women are not available to Métis women, and many companies are extending their responsibilities to consult only with Indigenous people, not Métis.

The situation is different with Indigenous women living on and off the reserve. People living on the account

can own property that can be used as collateral, but

Lack of Confidence

they still face high unemployment rates disproportionately.

Many Indigenous women are incredibly

Similarly, Aboriginal people residing in isolated rural

banks, causing some of them almost to

living in urban areas, making it difficult to find work to

(although these women continued to take

location makes it difficult for them to access

institutions). Lack of confidence is a big

Therefore, any program to help Indigenous women

discouraged by being turned down by

areas tend to have fewer job opportunities than those

give up their entrepreneurial spirit

finance a loan. In addition, residing in a remote

out loans from Aboriginal financial

meetings and other programs from downtown.

obstacle. This is partly due to a lack of

should take these factors into account.

mentors due to the continuing impact of

boarding schools on other generations or a robust family support system. Children

who are forcibly sent to boarding schools are now parents and often have

difficulties raising children without

continued nurturing. As a result, some

Aboriginal women may feel they do not deserve good results, while others fear success.

Lack of Access to MaleDominated Fields Two of the major engines of the economy

- mining and construction are dominated by men, and women find it hard to

penetrate. Thus, entrepreneurship is the

only way to make them robust and selfsufficient.

55 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022



Wrapping Up

To back Aboriginal women engaging in

The entrepreneurial spirit of Indigenous

launching programs designed explicitly for them.

Entrepreneurship enables Indigenous women

entrepreneurship, nothing is more essential than

For instance, caring for children through seminars and training makes it more accessible to women with family responsibilities.

The content of the program should address

topics related to Indigenous women. This means understanding how the objectives of

entrepreneurship differ for women and men and changing the subject accordingly. For example, one program may target small part-time

businesses. The other focuses on the types of businesses run by women in general and can

provide advice on how to overcome the unique

challenges women face when running these types of businesses. Finally, it is essential to showcase successful Aboriginal women entrepreneurs in

these workshops or sessions. This demonstrates

women can transform communities.

to gain financial independence and security while increasing the status of others in

society. However, enduring obstacles such

as lack of fairness, credit, trust and financial

understanding are in many cases preventing and hindering Indigenous women from doing business. Placing Indigenous women at the core of any program will help ensure that

initiatives reflect the unique needs of these women. As funding is the most pressing issue, we believe the establishment of Canada's first dedicated Indigenous

Women's Entrepreneurship Fund, run by

Indigenous women, will be an essential step in ensuring that starting a business should

not be out of reach for Indigenous women.

that participants can be successful and offers

entrepreneurs a rewarding opportunity to mentor.

Work Cited

Finding new and stable funding sources is

Jakobsh, K., & Boskov, S. (2020). Breaking

start businesses. One promising practice is to

entrepreneurship in Canada. Women

essential to enabling more Aboriginal women to leverage co-financing by linking AFIs with a comprehensive track record of regional

engagement and success with major financial institutions seeking to promote sustainable

economic development via entrepreneurship.

56 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

barriers: A decade of Indigenous women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

How to build a start-up from scratch:

Essential steps you need to succeed

Starting a business can be overwhelming, but it’s not unachievable. All you need is a drive, passion, and determination. So many success stories out there have established a whole empire from scratch. If they can do it, why can’t you?

All you need is a fool-proof business plan and the right guidance to execute that idea into making it something substantial. Well, there’s nothing to

stress as this all-in business guide will probably answer all your questions:

Identify where there is a gap in the market.

Ask yourself - Is my idea good enough to fill the gap?

Is someone else doing the same?

1. Come up with a business idea If you have the zest to start a small business, one of the first things to do is come up with a smacking

business idea. First, you need to understand what problem you are hoping to solve that will be

appreciated by the people out there. Start by

thinking about the fields of interest to you before

anything else. Or maybe you want to see a change in the world that no one has thought of yet. There

are some things to remember and a few questions to ask before finalizing something:

57 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

If yes, what can you do better?


2. Write a start-up business plan

Limited company - A limited company is a separate

So, you have finalized that smacking

separate in this case. So, if the company is in debt,

idea; what’s next now? Another critical aspect of starting a business has a very sustainable business plan. It’s

almost like a roadmap where you jot

down every essential component that

legal entity and you and your company’s finances are you won’t be held responsible.

Partnership - When you start a company with a co-

founder, it comes under a partnership. In this case, all partners share everything equally.

you may need to run your business.

4. Legal checklist for small businesses Some of the main sections to include in a business plan are: 1. Your Vision 2. Your Mission 3. Your Objective 4. Executive summary 5. Opportunity analysis 6. Sales 7. Marketing 8. Logistics 9. Operations 10. Finance

Now it’s time for some legal paperwork, another

important thing to sort out beforehand. There are

numerous things that you need to keep in mind, some of them are listed below:

1. The business structure 2. Regulatory Requirements 3. Health and Safety Rules 4. Insuring Your Business 5. GDPR compliance

5. Raise money for your start-up You must have realized that running a business requires money and not just a few dollars by this time. We are

3. Register your small business After you have your business plan

in place, it’s time to get started with

registering your business. Of course, you can’t miss this step. Once

you’ve found a business idea you

love, it’s time to get everything set up. So, you need to register your business with Companies House and HMRC. However, you can

register your business under various formats as described below:

Sole trader - This means that you and your company are one entity and you have no partners, etc supporting your operations. 58 - IndigenousSME - June-July 2022

talking about the capital that many people don’t have in their bank accounts. But that does not mean they can’t start a business. There are several routes that you can take from here to raise the capital that you need.


At this point, it’s essential to understand what kind of

8. Tech checklist for small businesses

can either take loans which you’ll need to pay back

Last but not least, on our list is a checklist

funding will suit your business needs the best. You

with a personal guarantee. Or, you can sell shares

that will give absolute control of your company to the investors. There are specific government grants that

you won’t need to return. Remember, these processes might take a bit of your time, but in the end, it’ll be worth your while.

6. The Importance of Branding Branding helps put forth an identity of your brand that the audience can connect with. One of the first aims

of a new business is to know who you are – branding is the perfect way to introduce yourself. Your brand

will allow you to win potential customers by building and instilling trust through consistency.

of everything tech must incorporate to

ensure seamless functioning within your organization. Let’s take a look:

Customer relationship management: Pipedrive

Online accounting software: FreeAgent, Xero, and QuickBooks

For social media: Buffer Getting organized: Google Drive and Dropbox

Staying in touch with your teammates: Google Chat, and Microsoft Teams

7. Digital Marketing

To Wrap It Up

To sell your product and pass through that sales

So, folks, that’s pretty much it, everything

Some of the most effective ways are:

first few months of starting and setting up

funnel, it’s important to start marketing your products.

1. Social media marketing 2. Email marketing 3. A website with a user-friendly interface 4. Put out blogs to show how your product is filling some gaps. 5. Flyers and other promotional tactics

that small business owners need in the very their businesses. For more information,

please subscribe to the CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

HOW TECHNOLOGY Can Boost Your Small Business

Running a small business can be

For start-ups and newly established small businesses,

the world. The progress made from

achieve. There are so many hurdles to overcome regularly

one of the most rewarding jobs in

the initial inception of the business

idea to the actual company launch is a successful journey in itself.

Long-term accomplishments are,

however, significantly more difficult to achieve than short-term ones. Unfortunately, a large number of small businesses fail. In fact,

around 20% of start-ups fail within a year and 50% don’t make it past five years. These damning

statistics show how difficult it is to grow a successful business.

growth can be one of the most challenging goals to

that survival often becomes the main focus. A common

issue for many small businesses is that they don’t have the staff numbers to take care of routine functions. As a result, owners and managers often spread themselves too thin to the detriment of their business.

While it’s normal for business owners to put a lot of time

and effort into their venture, it’s essential for them also to

realize they can’t do it all. At some point, they need to seek help, advice, and services from elsewhere. Outsourcing services such as IT., accounting, payroll, and HR is a

valuable option for some companies. It allows the owners

and management to concentrate on the core functions of

the business, thereby maximizing opportunities for success.

In today’s digital era, people are constantly

By opening up your business to the online

other. Technological advancements

of your marketing approach and increase the

engaged by one form of technology or the influence all industries. Companies of all

sizes must embrace technology to thrive in

marketplace, you effectively reduce the limitations potential of targeting customers worldwide.

modern business.

1. Utilizing data

3. Communication is key

The majority of businesses today have a

Although we are witnessing a shift to conducting

website and multiple social media channels.

From their online presence alone, companies can generate a massive amount of data.

Even with limited analysis, valuable insights and information can be gained. Upon indepth analysis, even more, excellent

knowledge about customers, interests, and spending habits can be uncovered.

Set clear goals relating to the growth of your business and your online performance.

Outline key metrics to track your progress.

Conduct regular analysis using your website

and social media channels and use the data generated to drive decision-making .

business online, people still value companies with a human element to their operations. Technology should be used as part of a comprehensive

communications strategy but should not be the only approach to customer engagement. Direct conversations are the most effective form of

communication. You should consider installing a phone line for your business if you don’t already have one. Here’s how to get a small business

phone system, gain a reliable and trustworthy

phone number and open up communication lines with customers.

You should also encourage communication via

social media channels. This has become one of the most important customer service delivery

2. Prepare your business for ecommerce The online marketplace is constantly

expanding. More and more people are

approaches in recent years. Building an e-mail list to regularly update customers is another powerful method of communication.

purchasing online, and this trend looks set to

4. Digital management

all transactions will be facilitated by e-

Management tools and project management

continue. It’s estimated that by 2040, 95% of commerce.

By preparing your business for e-commerce, you are preparing for the future. Whether

your company offers a service or you sell a product, put a plan in place to build an online store.

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software can help your team interact in real-time. However, there are many more advantages to

digital management tools, particularly when it comes to managing large teams.


Digital management tools can be used to manage

It’s vital for small businesses to implement

Employees can also use computer-based tools for

and reliable when it comes to customer

and store files, invoices, and account information.

accessing and sharing business-related documents.

5. Advertising

strong security measures. Being trustworthy information can be advantageous for your

company, so ensure you take all necessary security measures and beware of data breaches.

Targeted advertising is a must for modern

businesses. One of the most effective advertising techniques for a small business is social media.

Through research and analysis, you should establish a transparent target market. This target audience should be broken down into specific segments

targeted via paid advertisements. Create adverts to suit each component and launch a digital

advertising campaign. It’s also important to outline KPIs to determine the effectiveness of your

campaign. Finally, monitor the progress, analyze the results, and use the information gained for future campaigns.

8. Remote access Technology has changed the way regular

business is conducted. There are no longer standard practices when it comes to

business operations. One of the most

significant technological changes in recent years is the emergence of remote working. Due to the availability of communication

software, high-speed internet, conference call technologies, and other digital tools, employees can now get their work done

remotely. As a result, there is less need for physical presence at meetings or

6. The mobile audience is the future


Mobile has surpassed desktops when it comes to

This is highly beneficial to small businesses

digital advertising strategy should be optimized for

office space, if at all, and can hire

website traffic. Your website, social media, and

as this means they will require minimal

mobile users.

employees from anywhere in the world. It

We are beginning to see increased numbers of

and boosts the potential for success.

transactions from mobile devices too. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this segment of the

marketplace and ensure that you plan and target the mobile audience.

7. Improved security With such a reliance on internet and digital

technology in recent years, there has also been an increase in cybercrime. To many people’s surprise, small businesses and start-ups are regularly

targeted by hackers. Cybercriminals see smaller companies as easy targets for theft.

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reduces costs, increases the bottom line,

5 Digital Marketing Trends FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN CANADA IN 2022 As per Gartner, on its State of Marketing Budget

2022 is just around the corner. And this is the right time for you to evaluate the strategies for your small business in Canada. You should have a solid digital marketing plan which will help you navigate through any unforeseen emergencies in the coming year with ease. Why digital marketing in particular? That’s because we have witnessed a significant shift in the digital space in the past two years. The social norms have changed, the way of doing business has changed. We have now become digital beings, to be precise. The pandemic had a significant impact on changing our habits. And even when all this is over, consumer habits will remain the same. So, how do you think your business would cope?

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Report 2021, marketing budgets for businesses have gone down to the lowest level, dipping by 6.4% of the company revenues in 2021 from around 11% in

2020. In addition, marketers are facing disruptions due to the pandemic. And that’s not all – between new technological applications, business models,

and regulatory changes, whatever digital marketing

strategies have worked for your business in the past might not work today. So, with 2022 on the horizon, you will have to find ways to digitally engage your

customers by harnessing the potential of different technological innovations.


Ways to Boost the Digital Marketing Game for Your Business

3. Consider Video Marketing Strategies

The best marketers are constantly looking for

now, video marketing is still overlooked by

ways to implement new trends in digital

marketing to boost their sales. If you are looking for similar ways to pump your business online in

the coming year, five trends are to keep in mind.

Although it’s been lurking there for a long time business owners worldwide. In 2022, you should give it a thought if you have been one of them. Video marketing is one of the most effective

marketing tools businesses can implement to market their products and services better.

1. Make Use of Data-driven Technologies Google recently announced that it would end

cookie tracking in 2022. What does that mean for small businesses? Pretty simple. It is bad news and will require specific drastic changes. For

According to the video marketing statistics 2021 by Wyzowl, 70% of consumers have either

shared a brand’s video, or 50% of them have said that their confidence in online buying is

boosted after watching a product-related video by a brand.

businesses across the web, tracking user

activities is essential. However, maintaining user privacy is also necessary. It is said to be the

perfect time to implement GDPR strategies, all set to make customers better aware of their online

privacy. Although there’s always an option to opt out from third-party cookies, digital advertisers are constantly looking for ways to alter their tactics.

2. Try to Include Mobile-first Marketing As people are now using tablets and mobile phones more than laptops and desktops,

businesses should create content that’s mobilefriendly, and which will keep their websites

higher on the web pages. Mobile marketing

strategies could be simple. However, optimizing

those properly is a trick. Make use of responsive

Video marketing is one of the most effective

2022, it is vital for your website or app to allow

implement to market their products and

website designs which will fit into any screen. In customers to browse your products and

services on any kind of device they are using. AMP (accelerated mobile pages) could be

another option to make your content load faster on tablets and smartphones.

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marketing tools which businesses can

services better. According to the video

marketing statistics 2021 by Wyzowl, 70% of

consumers have either shared a brand’s video and 50% of them have said that their

confidence in online buying is boosted after watching a


4. Go for Geofencing Technology for Targeted Messaging By 2023, 2.3 billion consumers will use geofencing

technology to learn about a particular brand. It is a location-based service that allows businesses to

send targeted messaging to people entering their

‘fenced’ area. The messages could be through emails,

texts, social media, or app notifications. It has already been used by Burger King, Waze, and so on. The best part is that more than 50% of people who receive a geofence alert act on it. Isn’t that great?

5. Embrace Omnichannel Commerce Solutions We’ve heard about omnichannel commerce solutions before. And now it’s time to implement the same for

small businesses in Canada. Companies, irrespective of their size, should focus on reaching potential

customers through every avenue, from social media to physical stores. With social media gaining much

momentum in the past two years, you can even think about promoting your products on Instagram and

Facebook. This will create an additional avenue for

you to reach consumers who could become your loyal customers in the long run.

Wrapping it Up With such a long stay-at-home period, customers

have now reset their expectations from their preferred brands. So, businesses need to find ways to engage

their consumers better. In addition, they keep in mind that the above-mentioned digital marketing trends will allow you to provide better services to your customers in the years to come.

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Do you wish to learn more about such trends and techniques of operating your small business in Canada the right way? Subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

Canva - The Best Design Platform for Your Small Business

The world is a visual place. This has become even more

If you want to expand your creative side

the shift towards more active online interactions.

choose Canva to bring innovative

true with the advent of new social media platforms and Businesses need a high-quality branding image to

compete, stand out, and be successful. If you've never done a design before, or are busy with other parts of

your business, creating the required number of images

can seem like an overwhelming task or a low priority. If that's the case, we recommend you to use Canva.

So, What Exactly Is Canva? How Is It Effective For Small Businesses?

Canva is graphic design software for creating

promotional content, materials, social media content,

and other design products. It has attracted millions of companies with easy-to-use drag-and-drop features and layouts, letting you create and share stunning graphic designs.

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and amplify your business’ offerings,

change with robust designs by applying a personal touch, ensuring visually impressive designs.

INDIGENOUS SME Here are a few reasons why Canva is the best bet for your small business:

Free to Use, and Upgrading is Affordable Small businesses often have strict marketing

You can even save images and share them directly from the app to your social media pages.

Doesn’t Require Design Experience – Just Eye for What You Like

budgets, and every expense is critical to their

Using Canva is the same as online shopping.

account with valuable features, lets you get

handouts, or a complete presentation for your

bottom line. Canva, having an unlimited free instant access to loads of stock photos,

templates, icons, etc. A free version is sufficient for many small businesses.

However, free accounts have limitations. If you

upgrade to a Pro account, you can unlock more photos, templates, and fonts. You can also gain

team members to save brand colours and extra

storage space. In addition, the Pro version starts at $10 per month for the annual plan, so it's a

lot cheaper than hiring many design programs

Whether you’re looking for social media quotes, presentation, Canva has a ready-made template for you. Just find the project you’re working on and search for a template you like. You can

easily change fonts and colours to match your brand. You can even add photos and logos to further promote your brand. You can also use

Canva to create your own designs. If you have

design experience or need more control, begin with a blank page and add your typography, elements, etc.

or agencies.

Access Your Projects from Any Device Since Canva is an online service, it saves your

designs in the cloud. This means you can start a project at home and continue working in your store or office. Of course, it's a lot easier to

design with a computer or laptop than a phone. However, the Canva app allows you to quickly download and use photos taken with your phone.

Send Links and Work with Others You can share your project with others by

generating a link to your project. It helps you invite people to a comment-only mode or

provide them full access to edit designs. It’s easy to get help and feedback from colleagues and

trusted friends. If you’ve someone designing for

your business, you can also use the link to send your design for review and approval.


Automatically Resize Your Designs

Create Brand Consistency and Save Time Resize Your Designs

You’ve created some great Facebook images, but

One of the best things about Canva is that you

for your website banners and blogs. The sizing tool

that the graphics can be easily reproduced

now you need to make Pinterest pins and images

will automatically convert your designs to different

sizes when using a Pro account. It is beneficial and saves







documents of different sizes and copy design elements by hand with a free account.

can easily copy and edit graphics. This means

with new content. A consistent selection of templates, colours, and fonts will help increase brand awareness and help you stand out. It

helps you stay consistent as you can copy designs and pages without any hassle.

Final Thoughts If you want to take your small business to newer heights, it’s no exaggeration to say that Canva can’t be ignored anymore. It’s one of the best

design tools to create business designs faster and easier. For more information, you can check their

website and also create a free account to explore more.

To learn more about small businesses in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

Get to Know about the Best Business Resources for Indigenous Entrepreneurs According to official figures from the Canadian Government, over 1.6

million indigenous people reside in 600 Aboriginal communities in

Canada. Various institutions are now available to Indigenous people, but not always. Indigenous people of Canada have been fighting the oppressive Government, social prejudice, and systemic

discrimination for years. As a result, academics and business were severely disadvantaged.

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Because of all these shortcomings and unfair funding, only about 48% of Aboriginal people could graduate from high school. And the

Canadian business world, which relies heavily on human education, remains inaccessible to these Aboriginal people.


Fortunately, states like British Columbia have

found ways to address these challenges and

Best Resources for Indigenous Entrepreneurs in Canada

Indigenous peoples. Specifically, in 2016, British

When starting a business, you’ve to manage

provide equal opportunity and access to

Columbia’s Aboriginal graduate rate was 81%.

However, much work remains to be done, and the Government of Canada is aware of this. They have several tools and resources to promote and support Indigenous groups, especially the Indigenous entrepreneurs.

several aspects. From business plans and funding to coming up efficiently with a seller’s business

idea, there are numerous challenges in the way. That said, the Canadian Government has some

exceptional tools and resources at the disposal of Indigenous business groups, which we’ve listed below.

Why Indigenous Entrepreneurship? Before discussing the best resources for Indigenous entrepreneurs, let’s grab an eye at why you should start your own

business as a local entrepreneur. Well,

first and foremost, being an entrepreneur

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)

means putting your destiny in your own

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business serves

be in your control. And with planning and

Canadian businesses. CCAB connects Indigenous

hands. Not only that, but your future will

careful execution, any idea can come to life.

Yes, it’s not an easy journey, but it’s worth it because it’s full of experience and will provide you with many opportunities to

as a bridge between Indigenous peoples and

and non-Indigenous peoples, businesses, and communities through a variety of programs,

education, providing tools, networking, national events, and major business awards. For more information, click on the link provided.

grow. Remember, small businesses are

the foundation of any prosperous nation. Today, building resilient business

communities lay the foundation for a

robust business ecosystem for the next generation.

According to Vancity’s 2018 survey, 48%


of indigenous entrepreneurs said that

Animikii, a digital agency owned by an Aboriginal

years ago, but it has come down to just

entrepreneurs in the Aboriginal community by

indigenous Canadians and business

custom software development. Animikii is an

the legal and historical challenges

your own business.

they faced systematic hindrances five

business owner, assists the emerging

21% as of now. In addition, non-

offering a helping hand in web designing and

groups now acknowledge and recognize

incredible option to consider if you plan to start

confronting aboriginal communities.

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Canadian Centre for Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Committed to the promotion and growth of

Indigenous entrepreneurship in Canada, the

Canadian Centre for Aboriginal Entrepreneurship

supports project management, writing and speaking services, entrepreneurship training, and as a consultant to government and Indigenous

businesses, individuals, and organizations.

Native Women’s Association of Canada NWAC or Native Women’s Association of

Canada is a national Aboriginal organization bent on representing the political voices of

aboriginal girls, women, and all the genderdiverse people in Canada, including First

Nations on and off-reserve disenfranchised, status and non-status, Métis and Inuit. In

addition, NWAC works on employment, health, labour and business, justice and human rights, violence prevention and safety, international affairs, etc.

Indigenous Tourism BC ITBC or Indigenous Tourism BC is a non-profit

stakeholder-based organization dedicated to the uninterrupted development of a sustainable,

culturally rich, and authentic Indigenous tourism industry in British Columbia. Tourism is British

Columbia’s second-largest lucrative industry;

providing Aboriginal tourism companies with new opportunities for economic development and

sharing the living language, culture, and traditions of Aboriginal people will further deepen their connections, helping them grow efficiently.

The Key Takeaway If you are an Indigenous entrepreneur

planning to start a business but don’t know

where to start, these resources will help you find your way. Moreover, they also provide

any assistance you may need, financial or anything else.

To know more about Indigenous businesses in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

Indigenous Business Development Services The Indigenous Business Development Services

was established in 2017 to expand resources for Indigenous business groups in British Columbia.

IBDS works directly with BC-based organizations operating in or near aboriginal communities. It

hosts business development programs within its

precincts. Indigenous people in BC won’t have to pay for these online workshops.

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before starting your own business

Starting a small business isn’t easy. Here are five things you should consider before taking the plunge and creating your own company in Canada. Small-scale businesses are the backbone of the

Canadian economy. As per the official website of the Government of Canada, “As of December 2019, the Canadian economy totalled 1.23 million employer

businesses. Of these, 1.2 million (97.9 percent) were small businesses, 22,905 (1.9 percent) were

medium-sized businesses, and 2,978 (0.2 percent) were large businesses.”

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Small-scale businesses have taken the Canadian market by storm by bringing aboard entirely sustainable, ingenious,

and creative concepts. However, there is a reason behind the immense success and widespread market share of the

small-scale industries – proper planning and execution. It is impossible to survive in an uncertain economy amidst

challenging times without this. Therefore, before starting a small business in

Canada, here is a list of five things that you must consider.


Determine Your Budget

There Will Be Legal Responsibilities

To build something from scratch not just takes time but

A business comes with its own set of

can spend, however, as an entrepreneur, it is essential

amongst the most important. First, you

also money. While there is no limit to how much one

to determine your budget before starting a business. Because you will require to pay for several things, all

your effort will be wasted without strategically planning this aspect. You will have to accept that it may take

years before you become profitable and receive your first paycheck. So you will have to cut down on all

unnecessary expenses. Ask yourself – are you ready for this? Look, research, find an answer, and then proceed.

responsibilities, and the legal ones are

have to ensure that you are not violating any laws put down in place for your

municipality, state, city, and country. rightly explains,

“you’ll want to seek counsel to make sure you’re not opening yourself up for a lawsuit. There are different ways to

approach the legal issues of a new

business depending on whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, a

Understand the Basics of Funding

non-profit or working with the government.”

Business and its various aspects are expensive, and,

naturally, everyone does not have that kind of money.

As jumpstart puts it, "Start with your finances. Know your

Get Proper Support From a Mentor or an Expert

loans at a lower rate and allow you to get small

Naturally, you may be setting foot in the

What to do then? Well, that's where funding comes in.

credit score because good credit may help you secure business loans if needed. Have a budget for your finances.

Next, consider your business finances. Prepare a budget and financial projections to help avoid financial pitfalls and determine your initial offerings' scale. Then decide how you'll fund your business."

completely unknown territory while

starting a new business. In such a space, support from a mentor or an expert can

help you choose the right path. It is good to admit that there is a problem where

you need help and seek guidance from suitable sources. So, when you feel like

your progress has plateaued, trust in an

The Power of a Powerful Marketing Strategy So you have a plan ready, the funding is done, and you’re about to start. But have you wondered how

people will get to know about your business? Well, that is where the importance of marketing comes in.

Additionally, it’s not the local market where you have to spread the word. Be ambitious and target a global

audience which can only be done when you have an

online presence. To excel in the snickets and ginnels of the world wide web, you will need to consider an

adequately placed marketing strategy around your business.

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expert or mentor to provide an outside

viewpoint to help surmount the problem.

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