Grant call opens for Indigenous businesses
2022-06-30

Eligible businesses can apply for up to $500,000 in capital funding for ventures that improve socio-economic outcomes for their communities.

“The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund – or ABIF – is a fantastic program. Capital grants for small to medium-sized projects can make a big difference on the ground. Entire communities benefit when Indigenous businesses launch or expand. It’s wonderful to see.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“Without ABIF, we wouldn’t have been able to expand our cultural camp infrastructure. As Indigenous tourism grows, so can we. We’re thrilled to have a proper space for Aseniwuche community members and emerging entrepreneurs to share their stories, expertise and crafts. The cultural camp is on our traditional territory, serving as a culturally safer space for our community members to feel empowered and build skills. Thanks to ABIF, the Aseniwuche community gets to define and lead the opportunities for visitors to learn about local Indigenous culture.”

Courteney Wanyandie-Smith, executive director, Aseniwuche Winewak Nation

ABIF supports projects that increase employment opportunities and local revenue streams for Indigenous communities. Communities must own and control 51 per cent or more of the proposed business or joint venture to be eligible. Eligible projects should be close to starting operations or breaking ground within the fiscal year following funding.

The closing date for applications is September 30.

Quick facts

  • Since 2021, ABIF has supported 13 projects that have created 312 jobs for Indigenous people, including 130 full-time permanent and more than 125 full-time construction jobs.
  • Recently funded projects include:
    • Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada: enhancing their cultural camp as a market-ready Indigenous tourism experience.
    • Siksika Nation: infrastructure improvements at the Blackfoot Historical Park to better preserve the building and artifacts.
    • Driftpile Cree Nation: building a gas station and convenience store with additional space for a restaurant or franchise.
    • Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement Association: relocating the current rodeo grounds and ball diamonds to increase accessibility and add new features, including horse stables, minigolf and a driving range, a skate park, traditional food booth and Métis cultural museum.