There is a tremendous need in First Nation and in non-First Nations communities for entrepreneurs to start small businesses in order to create employment and improve the quality of life. Many Indigenous adults have established small businesses (e.g., caterer, hunting guide, artists) without any training in entrepreneurship.
There are many other Indigenous adults who want to establish a small business but are reluctant to do so because they do not know how to develop a business plan and other key elements of a successful business start-up. Recent Indigenous graduates of technology programs (e.g., welders, mechanics, and electricians) would like to establish small businesses to serve community members and others.
Overview of IEC
- IEC, a 60-hour course, was developed by The Martin Family Initiative (MFI) using key elements of MFI’s Grade 11 and the Grade 12 Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) credit courses.
- The end product of IEC is a business plan.
- The course has a very accessible reading level so that Indigenous adults, who may not have completed elementary or high school, will find the materials easy to work with.
- IEC is flexible and can be offered over multiple weekends, or daily over two weeks, or in other delivery schedules.
- Students participate in a variety of hand-on activities to help them gain applicable knowledge and self-confidence.
- Instructors and the manager of the institution/organization offering the course must participate in a one-day training program offered by MFI.
- MFI worked with Nelson Publishing to develop a participant workbook and a resource binder for the instructors.