Economic Development: The New Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Program

Feb 02, 2023
Shining The Spotlight Issue13 WEBSITE ECONOMIC Be The Drum 09

Since 2012, NWAC has hosted several Aboriginal Women’s Business Entrepreneurs Network conferences to improve business, management, and entrepreneurship skills for Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse (W2STGD) people. Participants expressed the need for ongoing support in the form of peer mentoring and navigation. Since then, we have provided support to entrepreneurs through our #BeTheDrum program. This program is an entrepreneurial outreach and navigation program designed to build the skills of Indigenous W2STGD people entering the sphere of business, management, and entrepreneurship.

Building on the success of #BeTheDrum, NWAC is pleased to be launching an additional program in partnership with the Canadian Women’s Foundation. The Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Accelerator program will help entrepreneurs seeking to expand their start-up business. We will be offering workshops and resources on growing and advancing businesses on a wide range of topics, such as strategy, traditional and digital marketing, finance, HR, technology and equipment, networking, and procurement.

The program will provide s peer mentorship, navigation support, and overall guidance so that Indigenous W2STGD entrepreneurs and their businesses can thrive during their phase of acceleration from a budding enterprise to a growth stage. This will serve to strengthen entrepreneurial networks and relationships.

The overall objective of the Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Accelerator program is to help support the economic independence and resilience of Indigenous W2STGD people. By increasing the economic sustainability of their businesses, the program will help address the economic marginalization of Indigenous W2STGD people. Reducing the economic marginalization of Indigenous W2STGD people will, in turn, help prevent violence and responds to Call for Justice 1.3 from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneur Accelerator program will empower the Indigenous W2STGD entrepreneurs who we serve, including First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised as well as Métis and Inuit. It will be delivered virtually to have a national reach.

Members will be invited to join various workshops and networking events to build their entrepreneurial skills in addition to forming industry network connections.