Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program

The Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) is a comprehensive range of complementary products designed to strengthen the network of Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFIs) and to foster increased availability and affordability of capital for developmental lending. NACCA manages the delivery of the AEP products and services described below.

NACCA is responsible for:

  • Application and claims processes;
  • Data collection and analysis on IFI operations;
  • Advocacy on behalf of the IFI network; and,
  • Needs assessment, research, and product development with respect to the design and delivery of financial products and services.

The AEP Policy Manual and its attachments are available from the menu.

The AEP Committee is a standing committee of the NACCA Board of Directors and provides oversight to the delivery of the suite of products. Terms of Reference for the committee are located in the attachments to the AEP Policy Manual.

The AEP lending products and services include the following:

Aboriginal Capacity Development Program (ACDP)

The Aboriginal Capacity Development Program is designed to enhance the capacity of employees and board directors of IFIs, optimize efficiencies, and increase their capacity to engage unused capital for developmental lending. The product enables IFIs to obtain educational support focused on the effective and consistent delivery of developmental lending across the network. Examples include loan management systems, standard administrative or audit procedures for financial institutions, and investment of surplus funds.

Aboriginal Developmental Lending Assistance (ADLA)

In 2014-15, NACCA launched the Aboriginal Developmental Lending Assistance Program, designed by IFIs and NACCA to enhance IFI sustainability and to provide a consistent means to compensate IFIs for developmental loan losses and the high cost of developmental loan administration. Such assistance enables qualified IFIs to absorb the cost of capital shortfall tied to developmental lending as well as the pre-and post-loan care costs, enabling the full deployment of AFI loan capital to Aboriginal entrepreneurs.

Interest Rate Buy-Down (IRB)

In the absence of adequate capital to meet the demand, the Interest Rate Buy-Down program has been important for some IFIs to access incremental loan capital from commercial and non-commercial sources. IRB is designed to encourage an increase in developmental lending to Indigenous businesses by providing a subsidy to those qualified IFIs wishing to secure additional loan funds from sources of capital such as banks, trust companies, and arm’s-length private lenders of capital. A subsidy is provided to IFIs with a low liquidity ratio to offset the interest costs for accessing capital for additional developmental lending.

Enhanced Access (EA) Loan Fund 

IFIs serve specific territories and communities across Canada and, as a result, some areas of the country do not have access to a source of developmental lending. To fill these gaps, the Enhanced Access Loan Fund provides repayable, interest-free loans to IFIs in order to lend to Aboriginal business ventures. This product provides critical loan capital to IFIs, enabling these organizations to assist Aboriginal businesses operating in un-serviced regions to offset transaction costs related to developmental lending.

Aboriginal Business Financing Program (ABFP)

NACCA delivers the Indigenous Business Financing Program that provides equity financing to increase the number of Indigenous businesses in Canada. This product delivers non-repayable contributions to a maximum of $99,000 for Indigenous entrepreneurs and $250,000 for community-owned Aboriginal businesses. Nation-wide coverage will be achieved as NACCA manages the product to IFI regional leads that flow funds to regional groups of IFIs across Canada.

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