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June 13, 2019

NACCA set to launch Indigenous Growth Fund

OTTAWA, June 13, 2019 /CNW/ - The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) welcomes yesterday's announcement from the Government of Canada supporting social finance initiatives for Indigenous entrepreneurs. NACCA is one of only four Readiness Support Partners, and is now in position to launch its Indigenous Growth Fund to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis entrepreneurs and communities across Canada.

Indigenous people share their fellow Canadians' aspiration for a prosperous and healthy future. "Business development is critical to the well-being of any community, including Indigenous communities," said Shannin Metatawabin, Chief Executive Officer of NACCA, which represents over 50 Aboriginal Financial Institutions. "Despite tremendous odds and distinct barriers, Indigenous businesses create jobs and opportunities in our communities right across Canada."

NACCA is working to help Indigenous people achieve their aspirations. It has advocated tirelessly for a renewed and meaningful investment in the network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions that provide developmental lending and business support services to Indigenous businesses across Canada.

Budget 2019 identified a $100 million investment for NACCA's Indigenous Growth Fund. Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, approved additional support of $3.1 million to NACCA under the Investment Readiness Program at Employment and Social Development Canada. This announcement, confirming the Government's priority to support social innovation and social finance, will ensure that NACCA is resourced to successfully launch the Indigenous Growth Fund. More importantly, it will also ensure that its network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions is better positioned to support businesses in their communities, including the development of community-based social enterprise.

Indigenous businesses are a key driver of employment, wealth creation and better socio-economic outcomes for Indigenous people and communities. They are crucial to achieving greater inclusion in the prosperity of this country. NACCA, through the network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions, is a logical vehicle to deliver economic development programs and funds to the Indigenous Peoples from coast to coast to coast.

For more information about NACCA and the network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions, please visit our website at NACCA.ca and follow us on social media at @NACCAinfo.

For more information about the Government of Canada's Social Finance Fund and the Investment Readiness Program, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2019/06/backgrounder-investment-readiness-program-funding-recipients.html

For further information: please contact:
André Jetté, Communications Manager, ajette@nacca.ca, 613-688-0894, Ext 506;
Shannin Metatawabin, CEO, ceo@nacca.ca, 613-688-0894, Ext 517

May 6, 2019

Why reconciliation means supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs

Haley Lews is TVO's Indigenous Hub reporter.  She recently had a conversation with NACCA CEO Shannin Metatawabin, which formed the basis for the following article:

Indigenous-led businesses help combat economic marginalization — but they face many barriers. TVO.org spoke with three organizations about how to foster entrepreneurship and keep money in communities.

From 2003 to 2011, the estimated number of Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country increased from 27,195 to 38,000. According to a countrywide survey from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, more than 43,000 Indigenous people were self-employed in 2016 — 10,320 of them were based in Ontario.

But, as the Conference Board of Canada notes, research shows that Indigenous people continue to “face significant barriers to accessing various forms of support (e.g., capital, equity, business training, business planning) for their start-ups.” One of the most commonly referenced issues, it says, is locational — would-be business owners simply don’t have access to financial services.

And even when they can access such services, loans can be difficult to obtain: Indigenous entrepreneurs are sometimes seen as “high-risk,” says Shannin Metatawabin, CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association.

“We have policies that the Indian Act put in place that say we can’t put up security on our communities,” he says. “We’re not close to the market. We don't have any equity. Our families are not rich.”

Please read the rest of the article on TVO website at tvo.org (https://www.tvo.org/article/why-reconciliation-means-supporting-indigenous-entrepreneurs)

March 11, 2019

NACCA’s Indigenous Business Awards of Excellence showcase Aboriginal Financial Institutions’ impact on communities

At the inaugural Indigenous Economic Prosperity Forum, six companies were honoured with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) Indigenous Business Awards of Excellence.

Nominated by Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs), these awards showcase the strength and resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis entrepreneurs across Canada. NACCA CEO Shannin Metatawabin is clear that, “by any standard, Indigenous entrepreneurs impact more than just the bottom line. All six winners have a substantial impact on their local community, not only through employment but the larger social impact of improved health, bringing pride to families, and building local economies.”

February 19, 2019

Supporting Indigenous businesses begins with addressing lack of loan capital

Capital makes the world go round: it’s a basic rule of business. Whether a startup or an established company, whatever the sector, entrepreneurs need ready access to capital to start and expand their businesses. This rule also applies to Indigenous entrepreneurs, who too often find themselves in an economic environment that works against them.

Capital accumulation generally comes from land ownership. And yet to this day, land is a major barrier to economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Where “Indian lands” are concerned, Canada still operates in the 1800s. Antiquated federal laws and policies continue to stand in the way of Indigenous people – rights-holders in their own land – realizing our economic potential.

But here’s the thing: With the lending supports Indigenous entrepreneurs have had, we have demonstrated high rates of business success. Located in rural and urban centres, both on and off reserves, First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses have created jobs, wealth and health for our people – where we live, in our own communities.

This is an opinion article written by NACCA Chair, Andrew Leach.

Read the entire article on the Globe and Mail.

September 21, 2017

Economic self-determination through lending: empowering Indigenous Peoples, implementing UNDRIP

Shannin Metatawabin
Indigenous issues
The Hill Times - September 18, 2017

In the 1980s, the federal government and Indigenous leaders were on the right track. Prior to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and even prior to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, it was known that the Indigenous economy needed attention. This resulted in the creation of a network of Indigenous business development financial institutions. With an initial federal investment of $240-million, these institutions have since provided more than 42,000 loans totalling $2.3-billion to Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs.

The businesses these loans made possible are diverse. One factor unites them: all are led by Indigenous individuals or communities taking their economic futures into their own hands. In very concrete, everyday ways, these businesses help realize the right to economic self-determination guaranteed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Click here to continue reading this article (Adobe Acrobat PDF file)

March 7, 2017

Report Shows Aboriginal Entrepreneurs Face Significant Barriers in Financial Ecosystem

Ottawa, March 7, 2017 - The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) commissioned a study of the financial ecosystem that provides support for Aboriginal entrepreneurship in Canada. NACCA and its member Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) provide financing and support to Aboriginal entrepreneurs. The number of AFIs across Canada has grown to over 50 and include Aboriginal Capital Corporations, Aboriginal Developmental Lenders and Aboriginal Community Futures Development Corporations. In addition to BDC’s mainstream financial services and advice, BDC’s Aboriginal Banking Unit offers two specialized streams of financing for Aboriginal entrepreneurs including the “Aboriginal Business Development Fund,” and “Growth Capital for Aboriginal Business.” Continue reading

February 15, 2017

Expanding the Circle: What Reconciliation and Inclusive Economic Growth Can Mean for First Nations and Canada

Economic reconciliation is not only the fair and right thing to do, but there’s a strong business case for it as well. Canada’s economy would grow by $27.7 billion annually if barriers preventing Indigenous Canadians from participating in the Canadian economy were removed, according to a recent report by the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board.

The Public Policy Forum, held February 15, 2017 at the Westin in Ottawa, partnered with the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to deliver the first in a three-part series of conferences on reconciliation and inclusive economic growth. Continue reading

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