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July 28, 2020

NACCA Commits to Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship

NACCA’s goal is by 2025, the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs accessing financing through the AFI network will increase by 50 percent.

 July 28, 2020 – Ottawa, ON – The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) recently launched a series of research reports and success stories on Indigenous women entrepreneurs across Canada.

In 2020, NACCA launched a role model campaign to share stories of successful Indigenous women entrepreneurs and completed a national research project on Indigenous women’s entrepreneurship. The research shows that while Indigenous women make up 51% of the Indigenous population, they only account for 41% of the self-employed Indigenous population in Canada.

However, the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs is growing, and at a higher rate than Indigenous men entrepreneurs. The growth rate between 2011 and 2016 was 46% for self-employed Indigenous women compared to 37% for self-employed Indigenous men.

Further, Indigenous women are overcoming additional challenges to entrepreneurship. Most notably, access to capital and financing is the top challenge due to exclusionary eligibility requirements such as equity investment, full-time involvement in the business, collateral and a proven credit history.

Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) play a critical role in the Indigenous entrepreneurship ecosystem. They fill the financing gaps that Indigenous entrepreneurs continue to face. Yet, only 4 AFIs have women-specific supports in place, and only 22% of the businesses supported through the network are led by Indigenous women.

“Indigenous women entrepreneurs are not only a key segment of the AFI market, they are also valuable investments.” –  Shannin Metatawabin, CEO, NACCA

Indigenous women entrepreneurs contribute to their communities by generating wealth, creating jobs, acting as role models and becoming leaders. Indigenous women are good investments for lenders because they seek out more services and supports, make calculated, rational business decisions and have less loan write offs than men.

Targeted support that is tailored to the culture and circumstances of Indigenous women is necessary to close the gap between Indigenous men and Indigenous women entrepreneurs and help them achieve their entrepreneurship dreams.

NACCA is committed to promoting the economic inclusion of Indigenous women entrepreneurs. In order to increase the number of Indigenous women engaging in entrepreneurship, NACCA is building the capacity of the AFI network and developing tools, resources and supports for Indigenous women to start or grow a business.

“The research reports and role model campaign is just the start. NACCA is also working on developing women-specific tools, such as a financial literacy workbook, to support Indigenous women entrepreneurs.” – Shannin Metatawabin, CEO, NACCA

NACCA would like to acknowledge the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund administered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for providing the funding that made this work possible.

For more information about NACCA and the network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions, please visit our website at or contact:
Shannin Metatawabin, CEO, NACCA
613-282-2431 (cell)

Magnolia Perron, Indigenous Women and Youth Program Officer, NACCA
613-688-0894, Ext. 502

André Jetté, Communications Manager, NACCA
613-688-0894, Ext 506

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