March 8, 2022

NACCA and AFIs Celebrate International Women’s Day with the Launch of the Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship (IWE) Program

March 8, 2022, Ottawa, ON – The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Aboriginal Financial Institutions they represent are announcing the launch of the Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Program.

Developed in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), the newly launched program provides First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women with distinctions-based and targeted support.

The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day, and NACCA and the AFIs hope Canada and all our Nations will help celebrate the Indigenous women making a difference in our communities, including those pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.

“We’re excited for our potential clients in the Yukon and anticipate being able to help more Indigenous women in business than ever before given the dedicated staff, training, and micro-lending that has been made available to Indigenous women through NACCA,” says däna Näye Ventures General Manager, Elaine Chambers.

In 2020, NACCA committed to increasing the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs accessing financing through the AFIs by 50 percent. In NACCA’s latest annual report, 30 percent of the businesses supported by the network are owned or co-owned by women, with 24 percent being fully-owned.
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March 7, 2022

Indigenous Growth Fund Makes First Investment of $10 Million

March 7 Ottawa, ON – IGF Inc. is pleased to announce the Indigenous Growth Fund’s first portfolio investment of $10 million. The Indigenous Growth Fund, a $150 million fund managed by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, is delivered by Aboriginal Financial Institutions across the country. The IGF advanced the first funds to the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC), an Aboriginal Financial Institution (AFI) located on Vancouver Island, to provide loans to Indigenous small and medium sized businesses.

Jean Vincent is the Chair of the Board of IGF Inc. “Indigenous businesses are hungry for capital,” he says, “and so many of our business owners have great potential. That’s why our network pressed for creation of the IGF.” The Fund’s initial investors are the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Government of Canada, Export Development Canada, and Farm Credit Canada.

Al Little, General Manager of the NEDC, agrees. “The whole island has a lot of opportunities,” Al says. Founded by the fourteen Nuu-chah-nulth tribes in 1984, NEDC is one of the most active members of the Aboriginal Financial Institutions network. Additional capital from the IGF will allow NEDC to provide financing to smaller business clients, while also serving First Nation clients with much larger capital needs.
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April 26, 2021

NACCA Welcomes Supports for Indigenous Entrepreneurs in Federal Budget 2021

April 26, 2021, Ottawa, ON – The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) welcomes the 2021 Budget’s significant investment in Indigenous entrepreneurs. “We commend Canada for recognizing the crucial role of Indigenous entrepreneurs in sustaining thriving communities, and are grateful for the funds the federal government has entrusted to NACCA and the network,” states Jean Vincent, Chair of NACCA’s Board. “The investments we make now will help equip a new generation of Indigenous businesses and economies to thrive and prosper.”

Budget 2021 includes additional investments of $42 million over three years in NACCA’s Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program, which assists business owners seeking to access capital from the network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs). The new funds will also ensure that the AFI network will be ready to issue loans under the Indigenous Growth Fund, a $150 million fund launching later this year. Together, the expanded program and Indigenous Growth Fund will provide Indigenous small- and medium-sized businesses with access to the business capital they have long sought, but too often could not obtain from mainstream lenders.

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April 14, 2021

Indigenous Growth Fund raises $150M in First Round to Support Indigenous Entrepreneurs in Canada

NACCA, the Government of Canada, BDC and other government partners increase access to capital with an innovative, evergreen fund, a first of its kind in Canada.

Ottawa, Ontario, April 14th 2021, 6:00am EST
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  • The Indigenous Growth Fund (IGF) has completed its first close. The IGF is Canada’s newest and largest Indigenous social impact fund and will be under the management of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA).
  • The IGF will enable Indigenous entrepreneurs throughout Canada to receive the capital they require to start or expand their businesses through the Aboriginal Financial Institution (AFI) that serves them.  AFIs will access the IGF for capital to build on their 30-year track record of lending to Indigenous-led small and medium-sized businesses.
  • The IGF’s innovative evergreen fund model will offer institutional and social impact investors a vehicle for investment that will directly contribute to economic reconciliation.
  • The Fund’s lead investors are the Government of Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), with further commitments from Export Development Canada (EDC) and Farm Credit Canada (FCC).
  • BDC’s partnership with NACCA has been integral in bringing the Fund to fruition leading negotiations on behalf of the federal government and other investing Crown corporations and supporting NACCA with additional resources.
  • The Fund will be operational and capital will begin to be deployed to AFIs later in 2021. Once fully utilized, the Fund will increase AFI lending by $75M annually with loans to roughly 500 businesses.

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July 28, 2020

NACCA and Aboriginal Financial Institutions Across the Country Roll Out Emergency Loans to Indigenous Businesses

June 25, 2020, Ottawa ON – The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) is very pleased to announce that Indigenous businesses have begun accessing economic relief from NACCA and Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs). The AFI network provides financial and business services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities from coast to coast to coast.

As a national leader in Indigenous economic development, NACCA began seeking a COVID-19 response tailored to the needs of Indigenous entrepreneurs when the crisis first hit in March. Working with Indigenous Services Canada, the Association put forward a plan to help Indigenous businesses survive and recover. In late April, the federal government confirmed that it will provide $307 million in relief, including $204 million for an Emergency Loan Program (ELP) to be delivered by NACCA and AFIs.

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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.

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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 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

For further information: please contact:
André Jetté, Communications Manager,, 613-688-0894, Ext 506;
Shannin Metatawabin, CEO,, 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. 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 (

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.

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