OTTAWA, ON, September 22, 2022 /CNW/ – The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and participating Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) are pleased to announce the formation of a new one 5 million dollars Loan fund for women entrepreneurs.
AFIs across the country are now providing 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 country can now access credit up to $50,000 to start or grow your business.
“Indigenous women are smart, resilient and motivated, but they continue to face systemic obstacles when starting or growing their businesses,” said the Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. “That’s why we made sure that the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund provides targeted support to Indigenous women so they can reach their full potential, create local jobs and drive economic growth in their communities.”
In 2020, NACCA has set a goal of increasing the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs who have access to funding 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 achieve their goal of supporting more Indigenous women entrepreneurs.
“Indigenous women often face difficulties in accessing finance due to barriers such as equity requirements, full-time involvement in their business and more. The Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund addresses these barriers by providing access to microfinance for Indigenous women to help them achieve the success they deserve,” says NACCA Chief Executive Officer, Shannin Metatawabin.
The Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund builds on NACCA’s existing Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Program, which launched in 32 AFIs in spring 2022. The program currently includes training and workshops for indigenous women entrepreneurs, as well as a microcredit fund of up to $20,000 in loan funds for indigenous women entrepreneurs.
Now with the addition 5 million dollars committed by ISED, AFIs will have additional resources to offer microcredit to a larger number of indigenous women. The new funding will enhance the program by making more capital available to Indigenous women entrepreneurs. AFIs have committed nearly an additional $2 million to the fund to support Indigenous women entrepreneurs.
“We have seen significant uptake of the microcredit program and welcome additional funding to fund more Métis female entrepreneurs. The Women’s Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will allow us to provide more capital and opportunities to our clients.” Pam LarsonCEO of the Clarence Campeau Development Fund.
Indigenous women entrepreneurs can apply to the Indigenous Women Entrepreneur Program and the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund through their regional AFI. Eligible businesses must be over 50% indigenous women.
Rachelle Baird is the owner and operator of Superior Remote Catering, a remote catering company specializing in working with logging camps on Vancouver Island. Working with the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) and its dedicated employees, Baird received a loan from the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund to help cover the costs of reopening her business.
“The amazing support from NEDC and the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund has enabled me to restart my business, Superior Remote Catering, after the recent downturn experienced by many businesses. I am so honored to be the first Indigenous entrepreneur to receive funding to successfully move my business forward and encourage others who need this type of support to reach out to their local AFI,” says Baird.
SOURCE National Association of Aboriginal Corporations
For more information: About NACCA and the network of AFIs, please visit our website at NACCA.ca or contact: [email protected]613-897-5345