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Business | 13 November, 2023

Indigenous Business Grants

Indigenous Business Grants

 

Indigenous communities around the world have a rich cultural heritage, deep-rooted traditions, and a unique perspective that can greatly contribute to the business landscape. However, indigenous entrepreneurship faces challenges when it comes to starting or growing businesses. One of the ways the government supports indigenous business development is through small business loans and grants.Β 

 

In this article, we will explore how to get business funding, how much money do natives get from the government, and assess the array of financing programs accessible to Indigenous business owners.

 

Indigenous Entrepreneurship Canada

In the Canadian Constitution, there are three recognized groups of Indigenous Peoples: First Nations (commonly referred to as Indians), Inuit, and MΓ©tis. Each of these groups is distinct, with its own unique histories, languages, cultural traditions, and spiritual beliefs.

 

These indigenous communities in Canada have been flourishing in recent years. They have been contributing significantly to the nation’s economic landscape with many individuals engaging in traditional businesses, such as arts and crafts, fishing, and farming. The indigenous-owned enterprises not only contribute to the cultural preservation of their communities but also play a vital role in their economic development. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of empowering aboriginal entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses.

 

Indigenous Grants

The Indigenous grant is a transfer payment that doesn’t require repayment and is accessible for Indigenous start-ups and other Indigenous-owned businesses. Its availability is subject to specific eligibility requirements, and reporting may or may not be necessary.

 

The government grant for small business is an essential resource for indigenous people looking for business startup funding or to expand their businesses. The start up grants and non repayable small business grants provide financial support, guidance, and access to networks that can significantly impact the success of indigenous small businesses. Here are some key aspects of these grants:

 

How to Get Business Funding

Indigenous people in Canada looking for aboriginal business grants should explore various government grant programs designed specifically for them. The application process typically involves several steps:

  • Identify Eligibility Criteria: To access indigenous business grants, you must meet specific eligibility criteria, which often include proof of indigenous heritage and a comprehensive business plan.
  • Research Available Grants: Different government agencies, both at the federal and provincial levels, offer funding for entrepreneurs. You must research available programs or indigenous community support fund that best aligns with your business goals.
  • Prepare a Business Plan: A solid business plan is crucial for obtaining aboriginal business grants. It should outline your company goals, financial projections, and how the grant will be used to support your business.
  • Complete the Application: Follow the instructions provided by the granting agency and submit your application by the specified deadline. Be prepared to provide documentation that supports your eligibility.
  • Await a Decision: After submitting your application, you may need to wait for a decision from the grant provider. This can take some time, so be patient and continue working on your business in the meantime.

 

How Much Money Do Natives Get from the Government

The amount of money indigenous entrepreneurs can receive from government grants varies depending on the specific grant program, the business’s needs, and the available budget.Β 

 

Aboriginal grants can be utilized to finance various aspects of launching or operating a business. Here are some of the purposes covered by programs in our grants database:

  • Launching an aboriginal business
  • Optimizing working capital
  • Scaling up aboriginal business
  • Supporting research and development
  • Workforce trainingΒ 

 

It’s important to note that grant funding is not free money; it’s an investment in your business. The government expects you to use the funds responsibly and achieve the goals outlined in your business plan. Additionally, some grants may be provided as a one-time lump sum, while others may be distributed over a specific period or linked to achieving certain milestones.

 

Indigenous Business Grants in Canada

In Canada, there are several small business start up grants available to support indigenous businesses. These grants are often administered by government agencies at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels.

 

Please refer to the section below for a comprehensive list of available Indigenous funding sources. For more insights into each program, simply click on the program’s name, and you will be directed to the program’s official page to give you more details, including eligibility criteria, funding information, and the step-by-step guide on how to apply for the grant.

 

Program Name Funding Source
Canada Council for the Arts – Co-Productions Component of Arts Abroad $50,000 Grant
Canada Council for the Arts – Creating, Knowing and Sharing:

The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and MΓ©tis Peoples

$100,000 Grant
Canada Council for the Arts – Public Outreach component of Arts Across Canada $100,000 Grant
Canada Council for the Arts – Sector Innovation and DevelopmentΒ  $50,000 Grant
Canada Council for the Arts – Translation: Arts AbroadΒ  $20,000 Grant
Canada Council for the Arts – Translation: Arts Across Canada $25,000 Grant
Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI)Β  $500,000 Grant & Loan
Canada Media Fund – Convergent Stream: First Come, First Served Programs: Indigenous Program: Development and Predevelopment $200,000 Grant & Investment
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – Housing Supply Challenge: Round 4 – Building for the Future No Fixed Amount Grant
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – National Housing Strategy $250,000 Grant
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – Seed Funding: New Construction Stream No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
CDAP Grow Your Business Online: Quick facts $2,400 Grant
Environment and Climate Change Canada – Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk $50,000 Grant
Environment and Climate Change Canada – Great Lakes Protection Initiative: Restoring Areas of Concern No Fixed Amount Grant
Environment and Climate Change Canada – Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk $100,000 Grant
FedDev Ontario – Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
FedDev Ontario – Economic Development Initiative in southern Ontario $500,000 Grant
FedNor – Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Ecosystems and Oceans Science Contribution Framework No Fixed Amount Grant
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Indigenous Marine Servicing Initiative No Fixed Amount Grant
Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) – Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program: Research and Innovation Stream $2M Grant & Loan
Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) – Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) Program $25M Grant
Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) – Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) Program: Capacity Building Stream $5M Grant
Indigenous Services Canada (formerly: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) – Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) No Fixed Amount Grant
Indigenous Services Canada – Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program: Access to Capital (2022) $99,000 Grant
Infrastructure Canada – Investing in Canada Plan Programs: Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund No Fixed Amount Grant
Natural Resources Canada – 2 Billion Trees Program No Fixed Amount Grant
Natural Resources Canada – Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural and Remote Communities No Fixed Amount Grant
Natural Resources Canada – Clean Fuels Fund No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
Natural Resources Canada – Energy Innovation Program – Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program $5M Grant
Regional Innovation Ecosystems Stream – Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Program – FedNor No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
ventureLAB – Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund No Fixed Amount Grant
Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation – Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs Program $20,000 Grant, In-Kind Support, Loan

 

Have Questions? Looking To Get Started?

 

Additional Aboriginal Business Grants – Canada

In our ongoing effort to provide a comprehensive resource on funding for Indigenous businesses, we have gathered information on alternative financial programs beyond grants.Β 

Below, you will discover various financial avenues available to Indigenous entrepreneurs:

 

Loans for Indigenous Businesses

While loans differ from grants, numerous loan programs for Indigenous businesses offer competitive low-interest rates. If you don’t qualify for a grant, a low-interest loan can be an excellent option to support your business endeavors.

Program Name Funding Source
Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) – Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Program (REGI) – FedNor $500,000 Grant & Loan
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – National Housing Co-Investment Fund: Indigenous and Northern Housing No Fixed Amount Loan
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program – Conversion (RRAP-C) $60,000 Loan
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – Seed Funding: New Construction Stream No Fixed Amount Loan, Grant
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – Shared Equity Mortgage Providers Fund: Preconstruction Loans – Stream 1 $4M Loan
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – Indigenous Agriculture and Food No Fixed Amount Loan
FedDev Ontario Business Scale-up and Productivity (2022) $10M Loan
FedDev Ontario – Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
FedDev Ontario – Community Economic Development and Diversification Stream under Rural Growth and Innovation in Southern Ontario $500,000 Loan, Grant
FedNor – Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) No Fixed Amount Grants & Loans
Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) – Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program: Research and Innovation Stream No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
Natural Resources Canada – Clean Fuels Fund No Fixed Amount Grant, Loan
Regional Innovation Ecosystems Stream – Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Program – FedNor No Fixed Amount Grant & Loan
Telefilm Canada – Development Program $250,000 Loan

 

Commercial Aboriginal Business Loans

If you find that you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for a government loan, you have the option to explore commercial loans tailored for Indigenous entrepreneurs. While no Canadian banks offer specific loans, lines of credit, or bank accounts designed exclusively for Indigenous companies, many of them maintain web pages dedicated to Indigenous entrepreneurs.Β 

 

These pages often redirect you to their standard financial products, so you are encouraged to apply with any bank that aligns with your needs. Additionally, a Canadian chartered bank specializes in delivering financial services to Indigenous communities in Canada, and here are some examples of their current loan programs:

 

Lines of Credit for Indigenous Businesses

Apart from providing loans, the First Nations Bank of Canada extends lines of credit to Indigenous owned businesses in Canada.Β 

 

A line of credit serves as a convenient means to fund aboriginal business development and operations, addressing occasional cash flow shortages, and supporting small equipment acquisitions, among other purposes.Β 

 

The following are their currently offered lines of credit for Indigenous businesses:

 

Bank Accounts for First Nations Business

The First Nations Bank of Canada provides dedicated bank account options tailored to the needs of Aboriginal businesses. Their business chequing plans come with exclusive benefits that make them well worth your consideration. Be sure to explore these specialized offerings.

 

Financial Aid – First Nations Funding Sources

The Canadian government extends financial support to advance social or economic policies, with wage subsidies being a prevalent form of such assistance. The following outlines the financial aid options currently accessible to Aboriginal businesses:

 

Program Name Funding Source
Clean Foundation – Green Jobs $30,000 Subsidy
Magnet (Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network) – Magnet Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) $7,000 Subsidy
Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) – Green Jobs Program $30,000 Wage Subsidy
Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) – Green Jobs Program $6,000 Wage Subsidy

 

Conclusion

Considering the array of financing programs available at the federal, provincial, and private levels for Indigenous entrepreneurs, you have all the reason to pursue your business aspirations this year.

 

The initial step is often the most challenging when working towards your goals, but every subsequent step becomes more attainable. Seize the opportunity and take that first step today.

We encourage you to explore various financing options. Reach out to us for guidance in leveraging these programs and creating a comprehensive business plan. Your success awaits.

 

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