A key to business success is ensuring budding entrepreneurs have the right skills for the job.
The provincial government has been helping four First Nations in the Lower Mainland gain core-business skills to create jobs and generate prosperity for their communities.
More than 200 aspiring and current entrepreneurs from the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh and Kwikwetlem First Nations are receiving training in business confidence, marketing and website creation.
The training focuses on helping people identify and capitalize on their strengths and gain a positive outlook on their business idea, understand marketing fundamentals on how to interact with customers to encourage sales and customer loyalty, and developing their own websites to showcase their businesses.
The courses are for community members from 16 years old up to Elders, and for people just starting out or those looking to expand their business skills. Participants also benefit from hearing from successful Aboriginal entrepreneurs, giving them inspiration to start or expand their business. Whether their professional interest is in general contracting or graphic design, catering, administration or any other business area, these courses will advance the business and technical skills they need to support the emerging business projects in their traditional territories.
The Province provided $40,000 for the training through B.C.’s Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund. The six-week course is delivered by Activ8 Education and Training.
To help participants overcome barriers to accessing the training, participants also receive support for transportation and child-care services.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“Today’s young entrepreneurs are tomorrow’s business leaders. By ensuring First Nations communities have access to training opportunities, we are working with them to shape their own positive futures and the future of British Columbia.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“We want to ensure that First Nations people have the skills they need to be successful as entrepreneurs, business owners or employees and this funding will help by providing enhanced business and technical skills.”
Councillor Christopher Lewis, Squamish Nation –
“We have so much talent in our community waiting for the chance to shine. We want to empower our members and help them realize their dreams and create the business opportunities that will lead our people to further prosperity in the future. These training courses are a first step on that road to success.”
Chief Wayne Sparrow, Musqueam Nation –
“I am really excited to see where our young entrepreneurs will go on their career journey. By giving them the skills to walk their own path, pursue their own dreams and start their own businesses we create benefits for our entire community.”
Chief Maureen Thomas, Tsleil Waututh Nation –
“A strong economic future for our community is grounded in ensuring our young people have the skills they need to keep us moving forward. This type of training will give them confidence in their abilities and with their confidence comes continued growth and success not only for them personally, but ultimately for the community as a whole.”
Loa Fridfinnson, instructor, Activ8 Education and Training –
“It’s exciting and rewarding to see nation members come into a training course all fired up about their business ideas and help them learn the skills they need to make their goals a reality. We are looking forward to working with all of the First Nations’ communities in this program and witnessing more people embrace this fantastic training opportunity. I am very pleased to be a part of it and kudos to our provincial government for supporting such an initiative.”
- Introduced in 2015, the Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund will provide $10 million annually during a three-year period for Aboriginal skills training.
- More than 2,400 Aboriginal people have participated in training supported by the fund since it launched in 2015.
- To keep the economy diverse, strong and growing, since September 2011, the BC Jobs Plan has been building on the strengths of B.C.’s most competitive sectors utilizing the educated and skilled workforce.
- A key target of the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint is to increase Aboriginal workforce participation by 15,000 new Aboriginal workers by 2024.
B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/
BC Jobs Plan: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/
Squamish Nation: www.squamish.net/
Musqueam Nation: www.musqueam.bc.ca/
Tsleil Wauthth Nation: www.twnation.ca/
Kwikwetlem First Nation: www.kwikwetlem.com/