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Winter 2011 Volume 7, Issue 2

Kewadin Ahnung NORTH STAR

What’s Inside What’s New at NADF? 2 A Loonie’s Up’s and Downs 2 The NADF Radio Show 2 All You Need to Know About Social Enterprise 3 What is Succession Planning? 3 11 Small Business Resolutions 4 Boozhoo Leslie 5 Thinking of Buying a Business? 6 Free Business Literacy Workshops ............................................. page 7 Upcoming Events and NADF Staff ............................................. page 8

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT/CEO Hello and welcome to the spring edition of “Kewadin Ahnung”. March has arrived and with it comes to mind one of our most familiar weather proverbs “In like a lion, out like a lamb.”, Harvey Yesno and to my disappointment President/CEO March has arrived like a lamb. Although good for the winter road system, I am not looking forward to March’s lion-like departure. Brrr! Increased Support I am excited to announce a decision by our Board of Directors to increase our maximum investment limit to $500,000. For projects with significant job creation and economic impact to the community, the Board can approve an exception of up to $1,000,000. This increase is exciting as it will assist our clients in leveraging more dollars for the ever more complex business opportunities which are presenting themselves in our communities. With this new increase, the flexible interest rate program implemented several years ago and the elimination of the 2.5% Community Futures administration fee for approved loans, NADF is more attractive than ever as an alternative to the major banks and other financing sources which do not understand the flexibility required for successful developmental lending. We look forward to growing your business with you in 2011 and I encourage you to contact our office for more information. Changes to NADF Staffing

Community Futures Development Corporation

Supporting the Success of Aboriginal Business

Since our last newsletter there have been some faces that have come and gone from NADF. In January 2011 we welcomed Brian Davey and

Leslie O’Nabigon to NADF. As the Special Initiatives Advisor, Brian will be working with the First Nation communities on resource initiatives, focusing primarily on mining and energy. In his role as Business Support Officer, Leslie is available to assist our clients in developing their business ideas. Over the Christmas Holidays Liesa Wynn, our Finance Officer gave birth to a healthy baby girl Violet. We extend best wishes and congratulate Liesa and Aaron on the safe arrival of their bundle of joy. Liesa will be on maternity leave, returning in January 2012. Lastly, we bid a fond farewell to Wally Bannon who, after 23 years of dedicated service, has accepted a position to work with his First Nation. We wish him well in his new adventure and his presence and contributions will be missed. In closing, I would like to wish our readers a happy and prosperous 2011! Harvey Yesno President/CEO


To advertise in this newsletter, please contact Ade Michael Sekudo at 1-800-465-6821 or email immediately

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WHAT’S NEW AT NADF? Spring is here, and so is a new staff member. We welcome Leslie O’Nabigon, our new Business Support Officer from Ginoogaming First Nation. Give him a call at our Thunder Bay office anytime at 1-800-465-6821 to find out how he can help you get the best out of your business. Our Free Business Workshops are still available to all, and are delivered via video-conference and live web-stream every Wednesday from 2:30-4pm EST. Join us! We have a Free Online Business Directory coming soon. Business owners, contact your community EDO (Economic Development Officer) to get listed. This directory will give your business great exposure and access to more customers who are looking for your goods and/or services. We took our award-winning free business literacy workshops on the [winter] road to North Spirit Lake, Muskrat Dam, Neskantaga, K.I., Sandy Lake and Kingfisher Lake. Thanks to all the communities for making them a HUGE success. You can check out our Facebook page for pictures and more. Follow us on Twitter too, to get fresh news, updates and links on what’s happening here at NADF every day.

The NADF Radio Show Tune in to our bi-weekly one hour show, airing live on Mondays (8am-9am CST, 9am-10am EST) on the Wawatay Radio Network and Channel 962 on BellExpressVu. You can listen to interviews with guest speakers involved in Aboriginal business and economic development, join in discussions on various topics, and get details on upcoming events in addition to the usual dose of information on our products and services. Send us feedback on our show and your name will be entered into a draw to win prizes. Contact us at 1-800-465-6821 or email radio@ with your suggestions for future show topics and guests. Our radio show will be back on April 18, 2011. Please join us. Meegwetch!

A LOONIE’S UPS AND DOWNS Since September 15, 1950, when the value of the Canadian dollar was allowed to float, there have been many ups and downs for the loonie. This included a bottoming out at 63.11 cents US on August 27, 1998, and the all time low of 61.79 cents US on January 21, 2002. On the up side, the loonie was at $1.0614 US in 1957, and $1.0443 US in 1974. The Canadian dollar again reached parity with the US dollar on September 20, 2007, for the first time in Mari Bishop Finance Manager 30 years. CBC describes the impacting factors of the changing value of the loonie with its illustrative graph at . Who cares? When the loonie is strong, those of us who travel across the border to shop enjoy the added buying power of that strong loonie when we head south with our hard earned dollars. A stronger loonie also holds down the price of imports, and attracts foreign investment. Conversely, a weaker Canadian dollar contributes to increased tourism in Canada as retailers and tourist camps at home benefit from US shoppers bringing their wealth north to shop. Similarly, exports are more affordable to US and other foreign customers when the loonie is down. Canada is generally seen as export-dependent, typically posting trade surpluses since Statistics Canada started tracking this figure in 19711. Canada swung to a trade deficit in December 2008, near the beginning of the global recession. Canada’s trade surplus was C$46.9 billion in 2008; the trade deficit was C$4.8 billion in 20092. With Canada’s usual trade surpluses, a lower Canadian dollar has historically been advantageous. I’m not an economist, I’m an accountant. Clearly it can depend on your point of view whether a strong loonie is good or bad for the Canadian economy, contributing to riches, or not. On an overall basis, though, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said in a Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum’s recent annual meeting that “one of the risks to the Canadian economy is persistent strength to the Canadian dollar”3. And we all know . . . he’s no loonie!

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If we hear ‘enterprise’, many of us would likely think business or entrepreneurship. In recent years, a new movement has been slowly building momentum; Social Enterprise. Social Enterprises are defined, by the Social Enterprise Council of Canada, as social mission driven organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. This is a big mouthful of words that basically says a Colleen Martin Loans Manager social enterprise is an organization competing in the marketplace and building healthy communities. These types of organizations are not solely focused on shareholder or owner profits. Instead, these businesses blend business and social values. An example of social enterprise is our partner in producing this newsletter, Wawatay Native Communications Society. The Wawatay website describes their organization in this way:

Wawatay Native Communications Society serves the communication needs of First Nations people and communities of Nishnawbe Aski Nation. It does this through the distribution of a bi-weekly newspaper, daily radio programming, television production services and a multimedia website that seeks to preserve and enhance indigenous languages and cultures of Aboriginal people in northern Ontario. Established in 1974, Wawatay also provides translation and interpretation services.

The provision of translation and interpretation services generates business profits to assist in meeting its mission “to preserve and enhance indigenous languages and cultures ….” Social enterprises use a business model to address community needs-• They can create employment for those traditionally left out of the labour force, such as people with disabilities; • They enhance the service delivery options for non-profits, such as environmental and cultural concerns; and, • They help create financial sustainability for non-profit Organizations. Their aim – to accomplish targets that are social and/or environmental as well as financial – is often referred to as the triple bottom line. Investment in social enterprises is often now referred to as “blended value investment.” Many commercial businesses would consider themselves to have social objectives, but social enterprises are distinctive because their social or environmental purpose remains central to their operations.

Lorraine Whitehead

You may be wondering; what is “Succession Planning”? To answer your question, succession planning is an “exit plan from your business”. Anyone who owns a business will eventually leave their business because of a better opportunity elsewhere, retirement, health, or maybe even tragedy. This may result in the owner of the business transferring his/her business to a family member or friend or selling the business to a partner or an interested buyer.

Business Support Officer

For this reason, it is important to have a succession plan in place so you can better prepare your business for the future and avoid making last-minute decisions. It is a good idea to get assistance from your business advisors such as an accountant, lawyer and most importantly your successor(s) so that they prepare themselves in their role in the business. Although every business is unique; listed are some (of many possible) areas a solid succession plan should cover; • Goals and objectives o Where do you see your business one year, or three to five years from now? o What is the vision of your business? • Decision making o If appropriate, try to involve family members in developing the succession plan o Decide if you want to transfer your business to a family member or sell to a non-family member • Training o If transferring the business to a family member or any successor, ask yourself, do they possess the required knowledge and skills to run the business? o Provide training wherever it is needed • Skills development o If the eventual owners (‘successors’) are current employees, utilize their skills set to help prepare them to be a good business owners • Financial planning/Business valuation o Sometimes business owners sell their business for less (or more) than what it is worth o Evaluate your business revenues, assets, etc. • Exit strategy o Establish a realistic timeline for the transfer of ownership and responsibilities • Implementation and follow up o Review and update your plan regularly

Overall succession planning will help your business transition go smoothly and provide minimal disruption to your staff, while possibly keeping the business in your community. It can also provide financial security for your family and help them deal with unexpected events as with everyone who deals with your business. A successful entrepreneur always makes better business decisions by planning ahead.

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11 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS Even though we’re well into the New Year, an article this valuable is better late than never. Besides, this is our first newsletter of the calendar year. On that note, here are 11 New Year’s resolutions for all small business owners. Read and indulge:

Ade Sekudo Marketing & Communications Officer

1. Stop complaining about the economy – Canada is on the road to a slow recovery, but is definitely one of the top-performing economies in the world today. As a business owner, you have to realize that this slow pace will be normal for the next little while. Complaining won’t help your sales much, but focusing on new opportunities will.

2. Sell ‘painkillers’ only – Focus on providing solutions to your customers’ problems, i.e. sell them what they need, not what they want. 3. Fire employees that don’t increase profits – This one is easier said than done, because no one likes to be the ‘bad guy’ that sends someone off into the cold cruel world of unemployment. But sometimes, it’s a necessary evil. Stop holding on to poor performers whose presence and absence at the office makes no difference. Show them the door now. 4. Market to prospects that can pay for your product only – Time is precious. Try not to waste it on marketing to Mr. & Mrs. ‘Maybe’ (people with inconsistent interest) this year. Go for decision makers and customers with fixed timelines and budgets. 5. Don’t cut your prices to substitute a real marketing strategy – ‘Price wars’ can be very tempting, but don’t get caught up in

them. If you believe in the high value of the product or service you provide, leave the price wars to your competitors and focus instead on the added value you can give to your customers. 6. Meet with your suppliers & customers face-to-face – This year, try to give your email, fax and telephone a break. Even in today’s ‘wired’ business world, the deepest and longest-lasting relationships are built in ‘real-life’ over something as simple as a handshake, so go out and meet people. 7. Attend at least one industry event- To be successful, try to learn from other professionals in your field. You can do this at industry events like conferences which are usually great networking opportunities to meet and share ideas and knowledge with your peers. Don’t cheat when you’re at these events by checking your emails to keep track of what’s happening at the office. 8. Invest in yourself and learn a new skill – Old dogs can learn new tricks. Try to improve in an area you’re lacking or very afraid this year. 9. Take time off – Our work and personal lives are blending. This year, take a seven day vacation (at least) and leave the work computer behind…same for the company cell-phone. 10. Understand your business’s financial statements each month – If you haven’t yet, commit to learning what the profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements mean to your business. Use these to guide your decision-making. You won’t regret it! 11. Be a proud small business owner – Running your own business is a HUGE achievement. From getting the best out of your employees to providing solutions for your customers, so celebrate it!

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A WORD FROM OUR NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER - LESLIE O’NABIGON Boozhoo and Hello! My name is Leslie O’Nabigon from Ginoogaming First Nation and I am the newest addition to NADF. As a Business Support Officer, I look forward to assisting any new or existing entrepreneurs and businesses as the Business Development Officer for NADF. I am grateful for this opportunity to provide support and advice on business related matters to you and your community. As a graduate of the Business Administration Program at Everest College, I have vast experience working for First Nations at the local and Tribal Council levels as an Economic Development Officer. I have also been privileged to contribute on a regional level to several boards and committees as an Economic Development Advisor. So, I am aware of some of the issues and barriers that Businesses and First Nations have to deal with on a daily basis. It is this expertise that I will use to deliver exceptional business counseling to you and your communities. We are living in exciting times, and we have to be prepared to seize the opportunities that present themselves. With the discovery of a huge deposit of Chromite (a precious mineral used to make stainless steel), in

my name O L L E H


Leslie the “Ring of Fire” in the NAN Territory, we have to position ourselves to reap the maximum benefit from any of the mining and business activities in our area such as full-time jobs, better schools and roads etc. We at NADF are ready to help you with that. Please give me a call if you’re looking for advice on how to start or grow your business. My contact information is below. Kitchi Meegwetch! Telephone: 1-807-623-5397 Ext. 15 Toll-Free: 1-800-465-6821 Email:

NEED MORE CUSTOMERS? Our Free Online Aboriginal Business Directory can help. NADF is building a free online Aboriginal business directory and we want you to get your business listed. Get more exposure and customers by sending your business contact information to or via fax to 807-622-8271.

All we need from you is: • Name of your business e.g. Joe’s Gas Bar etc. • Location: Community/First Nation/Town or City e.g. Wunumin Lake etc. • Business Type e.g. Restaurant, Gas Bar, Hunting Lodge, Hair Salon, etc. • Owner/Manager Name • Mailing Address of Business • Telephone, Fax and Email • Website (if applicable) • Brief description of your business (in 100 words or less) • Picture of your business (optional) By listing your business information, customers will be able to learn more about your business and the products and services you provide. Whether you are on or off-reserve, if you’re serious about marketing your business and boosting your profits, send us your information now to get listed for free. Hurry! This free offer is for a limited time only. For more information, please call 1-800-465-6821 or visit

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Ade Sekudo Marketing & Communications Officer

4. This may require a little digging, but find out the real reason why the owner is selling the business (was the business unprofitable? Or was it for personal reasons? Etc.)

Building a business from scratch is not for everyone. It can be very time consuming and exhaustive for entrepreneurs, especially when some businesses can be bought at a bargain. With low interest rates and dynamic financing options here at NADF (and other financial institutions), buying a business can be one of the most exciting and rewarding opportunities for an entrepreneur today.

5. Take a long look at the financial statements (with one of Business Support Officers), or an accountant. If the numbers are too good to be true, they probably are. 6. Do proper research on your competitors and location, i.e. Identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the business. This is called a S.W.O.T. Analysis.

If you’re looking to acquire a business this year, here are a few tips to help you come out on top:

7. Don’t believe everything the seller or business broker says. Remember: they are in it to make as much money as possible…off you

1. Get professional advice from a business advisor, accountant and lawyer. (You can also contact one of our Business Support Officers here at 1-800-465-6821)

8. Run the business with the owner for at least one month before you take over to confirm sales and pprofits, etc.

2. Make sure you are paying a fair price. Sellers usually inflate the value of their business. If possible, get the seller to finance part of the selling price

9. NEVER get emotional about a business. Think with your head, NOT your heart. 10. Ask yourself this question, ‘Will I still be happy to own this business in five years?’ If the answer is yes, go for it!

3. Find out what lease will be available on the business premises

Coming Soon...


Nominate a Business Owner TODAY Date: October 26th, 2011 Venue: Days Inn Hotel & Suites Timmins, ON

Submit your nominations TODAY for the following categories: Business Man of the Year Business Woman of the Year Executive of the Year Youth Entrepreneur of the Year

Partnership of the Year Corporation of the Year Building Communities New Business of the Year

*Self nominations are also welcome. Sponsorship opportunities available NOW. Contact Ade Michael Sekudo @ 1-800465-6821 or for more info. Visit

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April 6 2011

How to Write a Winning Business Proposal

Ever struggled with applications? Hosted by Franz Seibel from K-Net. This workshop will explore all the things you need to know about completing funding applications and being convincing enough to get funding for your projects.

April 13, 2011

Managing Your Workforce

Find out how you can motivate your employees and get the best effort out of them with this inspiring workshop.

April 20, 2011

April 27, 2011

How to Write a Business Plan

Equipment Leasing and How it Can Help Your Business

This popular workshop will help you create a successful business plan. It will explain each segment and provide tips on how to get approval and financing. *Recommended for all EDOs (Ec. Dev’t Officers), Band Business Managers, and anyone planning to start their business. This workshop will show how leasing can help your business. Get a handle on the advantages of leasing equipment as opposed to buying, and how it can be beneficial to your business’s financial health.

For more on our FREE Business Literacy Workshops, or to request a specific workshop topic, please contact our Business Support Officer Lorraine Whitehead ( at 1-800-465-6821. Some of the other workshop topics available upon request include: 1. How to Write a Winning Business Plan 2. Shooniah and You 3. Financial Literacy for the Youth 4. How to Use Excel 5. How to Run a Home Based Busienss NOTE: Workshop topics and scheduled dates are tentative and subject to change due to demand and/or conflicts with other NADF-related events. We advise you contact us to confirm workshop availability and your attendance. Meegwetch!

Upcoming Events NAN Education Awareness Week

Powering Up Aboriginal Energy Clean Energy Driving Aboriginal Economic Development Across Canada Delta Chelsea Hotel Toronto, ON April 18-19, 2011

AFN International Indigenous Energy & Mining Summit Sheraton on the Falls

Victoria Inn, Thunder Bay, ON May 24-27, 2011 Contact Dobi-Dawn Frenette for more details at or 1-800-465-9952

Niagara Falls, ON June 27-29 Contact Karen Hunter at 1-613-241-6789 Ext 203 for more information.

Visit or call 1-800-443-6452 for more details.

Mission Statement

Vision Statement

“Enhancing and supporting the success of Aboriginal business and economic development through a range of distinct services.”

“To be a sustainable leading Aboriginal owned business and financial services organization”

Board of Directors


Madeline Commanda, Chairperson .....................Sandy Lake First Nation Arlene Meekis, Vice Chairperson ........................... Deer Lake First Nation Shawn Batise, Secretary/Treasurer ................... Matachewan First Nation Gabriel Echum ................................................. Ginoogaming First Nation Frank MacDiarmid ..........................................................Thunder Bay, ON George Nothing .......................................Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Gary Beardy ...................................................... Muskrat Dam First Nation Lillian Suganaqueb.................................................Webequie First Nation Russell Wesley ........................................................ Cat Lake First Nation

Deputy Grand Chief Les Louttit .......................... Nishnawbe Aski Nation Sunil Bajaj ......................................... Indian and Northern Affairs CanadaAboriginal Business Canada

Members Rosie Mosquito ................................................ Bearskin Lake First Nation Albalina Metatawabin ...........................................Fort Albany First Nation

NADF Staff EXECUTIVE Harvey Yesno .......................... President/CEO Dawn Willoughby............. Executive Assistant

ABORIGINAL BUSINESS CANADA (ABC) PROGRAM Anna Business Development Officer Kim Bird....................................... Business Development Officer (Timmins)

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Ade Sekudo ........................... Marketing & Communications Officer

LOANS AND COMMUNITY FUTURES DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Colleen Martin ......................... Mari Bishop, CA .................... Loans Manager BUSINESS SUPPORT SERVICES Finance Manager Lorraine Whitehead Charlton Thompson ......... Liesa Loans Recovery Officer Business Support Officer Finance Officer Wendy McKay Gail Anderson Judy Morriseau .................. Loans Officer Business Development Officer (CFDC) Secretary/Receptionist Shirley Paulmartin ........... Administrative Assistant (Timmins)

Head Office: 200 Anemki Place Fort William First Nation Thunder Bay, ON P7J 1L6 Ph: (807) 623-3941 Fax: (807) 623-3746

Thunder Bay Office:

Timmins Office:

106 Centennial Square - 2nd Floor Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1H3

251 Third Avenue - Suite 9 Timmins, ON P4N 1E3

Ph: (807) 623-5397 Fax: (807) 622-8271 Toll Free: 1-800-465-6821

Ph: (705) 268-3940 Fax: (705) 268-4034 Toll Free: 1-800-461-9858