September 22, 2022

New Micro-Loan Fund is Now Available for Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs

September 22, 2022, Ottawa, ON – The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and participating Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) are pleased to announce the establishment of a new $5 million Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund.

AFIs across the country are now delivering the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund on behalf of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED). First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women entrepreneurs from across the nation are now able to access loans up to $50,000 dollars to start or grow their business.

“Indigenous women are smart, resilient and driven, but they continue to face systemic barriers when starting or growing their businesses,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. “That is why we ensured the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund provides targeted support for Indigenous women so they can reach their full potential, create local jobs, and drive economic growth in their communities.”

In 2020, NACCA set a goal to increase the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs accessing financing through the AFIs by 50 percent by 2025. Currently, about 30 percent of the businesses supported by the network are owned or co-owned by women. The new Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will help NACCA and the network reach its goal of serving more Indigenous women entrepreneurs.

“Indigenous women often have difficulty accessing financing due to barriers like requirements for equity, full-time participation in their business, and more. The Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund addresses these barriers by providing Indigenous women with access to micro-financing to help them achieve the success they deserve,” says NACCA Chief Executive Officer, Shannin Metatawabin.

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June 16, 2022

NACCA Partners with Block on First Private Indigenous Growth Fund Investment

Block invests $3 million CAD in Canada’s largest and most innovative Indigenous social impact fund

The Indigenous Growth Fund (IGF Inc.) welcomes its first private investment, marking an important public and private partnership milestone focused on restoring growth and prosperity for the Indigenous economy. The IGF, an Indigenous investment fund, is under the management of National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA).

As the IGF’s first private investor, Block, a technology company with a focus on financial services and expanding economic access for everyone, is investing $3 million (CAD). Block’s investment, as part of its $100 million (USD) global social impact investment, will make loans available to more Indigenous entrepreneurs who require capital to start or expand their businesses through a growing number of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) across Canada.

Creating a Sustainable Stream of Capital for Indigenous Entrepreneurs

“Our partnership with Block demonstrates how similar private and public social impact investors are. We all need to work together to contribute to economic reconciliation, and by investing into Indigenous investment vehicles, we put reconciliation to action. Private investors like Block are essential to ensuring the IGF thrives as an enduring and evergreen fund, providing an ongoing stream of capital for Aboriginal Financial Institutions to support future generations of Indigenous entrepreneurs,” explains Shannin Metatawabin, Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association. “We know this investment will spark and inspire other companies to also contribute to economic reconciliation,” says Metatawabin. Continue reading

May 16, 2022

Indigenous Procurement Working Group

The Indigenous Procurement Working Group is pleased to present the procurement research and public policy papers, including a Summary Paper, to inform discussions on how the Federal Government can meet Indigenous procurement targets. This work builds upon the announcement made by Minister Anand on August 6, 2021, implementing a mandatory requirement for Federal departments and agencies to ensure a minimum of 5% of the total value of contracts are held by Indigenous businesses by 2024.

The purpose of these papers is to underline the importance of Indigenous procurement, as not an exercise in “supplier diversity,” but rather as economic reconciliation. As an act of reconciliation, the journey to include Indigenous peoples as meaningful participants in the Canadian economy will require changes to the procurement status quo.

Each of the recommendations within these papers, taken collectively, would effectively support every Federal organization to procure at least 5% of its goods and services from Indigenous businesses by 2024. They should be viewed as an informative roadmap that will help the Government of Canada to start their journey of increasing Federal procurement from Indigenous businesses.

Read the Research and Policy Papers


April 29, 2022

Indigenous Prosperity Forum Set to Gather Indigenous Dreamers, Creators, and their Supporters in the National Capital Region

April 29, 2022 –The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association is set to reConnect the network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions it represents with partners and Indigenous economic stakeholders for 2022’s Indigenous Prosperity Forum.

In its third year, and after a postponed 2021 event, the Forum is set to gather the diverse Indigenous economic community from May 4-5 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, QC.

This year’s theme is “reConnecting – Investing in the Return to Indigenous Prosperity” and includes discussions around the increased barriers Indigenous entrepreneurs have been experiencing, will continue to experience, and how we can continue to break down even more of them through innovative solutions that allow Indigenous entrepreneurs and economies to thrive.

This year’s lineup reflects the diversity of the clients, communities, and partners NACCA and the AFIs support and work with, from 11-year-old Kitigan Zibi entrepreneur Mya Beaudry off to an early start on her career to the retiring Bank of Canada’s Deputy Governor Lawrence L. Schembri reflecting on his, and many in between, including:

  • Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu
  • 2022 Juno-nominated Inuk Opera Singer Deantha Edmunds
  • International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Minister Mary Ng

  • Business Development Bank of Canada President and CEO Isabelle Hudon
    • The newly-formed National Indigenous Youth Business Advisory Council
      • Farm Credit Canada CEO and President Michael Hoffort

“Indigenous businesses still need all of our support as we look towards recovering together,” says NACCA CEO Shannin Metatawabin. “Our lending network will continue to accompany Indigenous entrepreneurs on that path, providing the capital and care they need to prosper. Our members are crucial links between Indigenous entrepreneurs and markets and government along the quest for economic reconciliation.”

The 2022 Forum will be co-hosted by Pow Wow Pitch’s Sunshine Tenasco and NACCA’s own André Jetté, who will also help facilitate important discussions around NACCA’s recently-launched Indigenous Growth Fund and Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Program, and topics such as Innovations in Indigenous Financing and moving from Pandemic to Prosperity.

Another highlight will be the Indigenous Prosperity Gala and presentation of the AFI and Indigenous Business Awards on the evening of May 4, 2022.

With support from Indigenous Services Canada, all First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and partners in economic reconciliation are invited to join in-person or virtually for an event NACCA hopes will help kick off a return to gathering and provide an opportunity to start healing and recovering, together.

For more information about the Indigenous Prosperity Forum, please visit NACCA.CA/FORUM.

Media inquiries can be directed to:


(This Press Release is also available as a PDF)

March 21, 2022

Indigenous Growth Fund Logo Story

The star blanket design is widely recognized as a symbol of celebration in Indigenous homes across Turtle Island. The star blanket is used in celebration of life events – birth, growth, prosperity. When we are wrapped in a star blanket, we also honour our interconnectness with the land and all life. When we gift a star blanket, there is a ceremony of exchange and gratitude.

Star blanket teachings include a reminder that the energy we put into the creation of star blankets is transferred to the recipient. The star then becomes a symbol of that reciprocity and respect. These teachings carry over into how we live, how we conduct business, and how we interact with each other.

Much like in the creation of star blankets, the Indigenous Growth Fund (IGF) is a transfer of good energy into economic reconciliation and economic self-determination for Indigenous entrepreneurs. Investors, along with the Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs), become a part of the star design, contributing to the celebration of Indigenous business growth and prosperity.

The four points of the IGF star are rooted in Indigenous values and the four directions, also repre- sent the four stages of business growth – startup, growth, maturity and renewal.

The blues of the IGF star represent the colours of the sky, linking us to the sky and stars, where we look when we need guidance from our ancestors, and where we look when we see a path forward with clarity and hope. With the IGF, many more Indigenous businesses will look up as they walk the path of Indigenous growth and prosperity.

To download this story, click here (English)

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
Version française


  • 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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