The provincial government will invest more than $500,000 in a skills training program that will support aspiring Aboriginal entrepreneurs, Premier Christy Clark announced yesterday.
The new self-employment training program, which is being funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement until March 2014, will include workshops, mentoring, one-on-one coaching, referrals and follow-up.
"Mentorships and coaching are important pieces of any successful new business," said Ida Chong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. "This program will provide support and inspiration to about 435 Aboriginal entrepreneurs, setting them on a path to participate more fully in B.C.'s economy."
The program is being created through a partnership between Aboriginal Business Service Network Society (ABSN-BC) and the provincial government, and will be delivered by three organizations:
- the Kootenay Aboriginal Business Development Agency in Cranbrook;
- the Northeast Aboriginal Business Centre in Fort St. John; and
- the Aboriginal Business and Community Development Centre in Prince George.
The announcement was made at the Success Through Sharing Symposium in Vancouver, an event that brought more than 250 First Nations representatives and business leaders together to discuss ways to encourage greater Aboriginal participation in B.C.'s economy.
Topics covered at the symposium included how First Nations can encourage professional development, access capital and work toward financial independence and quality governance structures.