New initiative seeks virtual mentors, crowd-funding support for First Nations business enthusiasts

Following the success of a project encouraging business start-ups among the young people of Hobbema, a new initiative is aiming

Following the success of a project encouraging business start-ups among the young people of Hobbema, a new initiative is aiming at expanding both the outreach of and support to the project with a view to reducing unemployment and creating more wealth on the reserve.

Under the first stage of the project, in less than two years, some 15 micro-businesses have been created with — and run by — aspiring young First Nations entrepreneurs from Hobbema, thanks to on reserve coaching in Samson Cree Nation, according to a press statement by the organizers of program.

Among the small businesses created were a soup-and-sandwich lunch delivery business, a hairdressing shop, a janitorial business, a commuter taxi service, auto detailing, a used furniture shop and many others, creating a direction and employment for young entrepreneurs on the Samson Cree First Nation reserve in central Alberta.

“Now the “Change it Up!” initiative is looking to scale up their success with the support of crowd-funding and “MentorNation,” a new program to enlist volunteer small business coaches across Canada to mentor their Aboriginal protégées through cyberspace,” said the press release.

Change it Up!, an initiative of non-profit Classroom Connections, is led by Heather MacTaggart, who spends two of every five weeks on the reserve, working on what she calls “the rock face of arguably Canada’s most destructive and intractable social and economic malady: the devastating shortage of economic opportunities for too many aboriginal people.”

MacTaggart: says of the young entrepreneurs; “They’re making the move from lives of often numbing boredom watching TV or just hanging out to a whole new life — tapping their inner strengths, business plan in hand. They’re betting on themselves and they’re on the way to creating real futures when most really didn’t think they had one.”

According to Derek Bruno, Band Councillor at Samson Cree Nation and successful Alberta entrepreneur, the local youth unemployment rate is over 70%.

“There’s no silver bullet to all this. But it’s quite possible that part of the solution may be at hand in the entrepreneurial movement that Change it Up! Is tapping into,” Bruno said.

 

Just Posted

Ponoka RCMP respond to intoxicated male in Golden Leisure Lodge

On May 15, 2019 the Ponoka RCMP responded to a complaint of… Continue reading

Town to sign five-year policing agreement with Ponoka Stampede

The Town of Ponoka will go ahead with a five-year renewable agreement… Continue reading

UPDATED: Ponoka RCMP arrest male on Canada wide warrant

UPDATE for Immediate Release: Collin James Courteoreille was wanted on a Canada… Continue reading

Town passes 2019 budgets and tax bylaw with 2.2 per cent increase

Ponoka town council passed a $25.5 million 2019 capital and operating budget… Continue reading

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Ottawa spending $24.5M to research health benefits, risks of pot use

$390,000 will fund two cannabis public awareness

Crackdown on money laundering does not include federal public inquiry: minister

An independent report commissioned concluded $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. last year

Trudeau’s action plan on climate change brings B.C. politician out of retirement

Terry Lake, a former B.C. health minister, is running for federal office in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

Survey finds minimal progress in Canadian military’s fight against sexual misconduct

1.6 per cent of regular-force members — 900 military personnel — reported having been victims of sexual assaults over past year

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

WATCH: Lacombe Generals celebrate Allan Cup victory with street festival

Hundreds come out to celebrate Generals fourth Allan Cup

Most Read