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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.

December 18, 2018

Canadian Business Journal: NACCA Interview

Increasing the Number of Successful Aboriginal Entrepreneurs by Providing Opportunities to Access Capital

The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) was founded 20 years ago as an organization that was borne out of what are known as Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI), which were first created in the late 1980s by Aboriginal leaders, the Government of Canada, and a Native Economic Development Program initiative. The primary mandate was to address the lack of available capital to finance Aboriginal small-business development.

AFIs were created to provide repayable, interest-bearing loans to Aboriginal small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that were unable to secure loans from highly-regulated conventional lenders due to risk tolerance levels.

Several AFIs joined together to form NACCA and retain their autonomy. The purpose of NACCA was to increase the number of Aboriginal entrepreneurs in Canada and provide opportunities for Aboriginal entrepreneurs to be successful.

This is an excerpt from the Canadian Business Journal.

Read the entire story on Canadian Business Journal.

January 25, 2018

NACCA & DISC: Working Towards a New Fiscal Relationship

Ottawa, January 24, 2018 - The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) was eager to hear about the priorities of Canada’s new Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC). For over a year now, NACCA has been advocating on behalf of its members to increase the availability of capital and support services for Indigenous businesses. Currently about half of the members are operating under capacity due to lack of resources.

NACCA CEO Shannin Metatawabin expressed cautious optimism prior to yesterday’s press conference by The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “We are hopeful for a real action plan to implement the promises and the recommendations of the past few years” said Metatawabin.

Minister Philpott spoke of five key priority areas for her new department. NACCA commends Canada’s commitment to “health, education, child & family services, and reliable infrastructure such as water & housing”. These four areas are long-standing concerns for all Indigenous communities and organizations, including NACCA.

The fifth and final priority area for DISC will be “a new fiscal relationship”. NACCA has the solid foundation in place to build a feasible economic development agenda with DISC, and to meet the demands of the growing number of entrepreneurs from all Indigenous groups including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

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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)

July 21, 2017

Ulnooweg First Aboriginal Business To Be Given Torch Award for Ethics

Halifax, NS/June 22, 2017 – BBB Serving the Atlantic Provinces was honoured to present a Torch Award for Business Ethics to the first ever Aboriginal business recipient last week. On Friday, June 23, Truro’s Ulnooweg Development Group received a Torch Award for the 11 to 49 employee category. Torch Awards are given to companies who go above and beyond to give back to their communities and inspire marketplace trust.

“It falls into our work to build awareness about the Aboriginal business population, our need to connect with the non-Aboriginal community, and vice-versa,” says Chris Googoo, general manager of Ulnooweg. “Reconciliation goes both ways. It is important that when we take one step forward, they take two steps towards us. We can help close the gap between us through awareness of the issues in Indigenous communities, such as access to capital.”

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June 20, 2017

“Reconcile-Action” – A Call to Action for National Aboriginal History Month

By Shannin Metatawabin

Did you know that June is National Aboriginal History Month? In 2009, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion to celebrate the contributions and cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The month was also intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on their strengths and aspirations.

Recalling the purpose of National Aboriginal History Month, the situation calls for “reconcile-action,” a term coined by our elder, Dr. Wilton Littlechild. In a recent report advising the federal government, the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board estimated that Canada could gain $27.7 billion towards the GDP by acting to close the gap between mainstream Canada and indigenous peoples – in quality of life, infrastructure, education, health and economic development opportunities. Continue reading

May 25, 2017

Changes Ahead in 2017

For the last several years, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has published an annual list of the Top 10 Barriers to Canadian Competitiveness. That document listed some of the self-inflicted wounds that have prevented Canada's economy from achieving its full potential and set out their recommendations for change.

This year, they released a different document. Instead of focusing on barriers, they outlined 10 ways to improve our economic success, along with specific recommendations to advocate throughout the year.

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