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Aboriginal Business and Community Fund Accepting Applications

Archived News Release

Aboriginal Business and Community Fund Accepting Applications

Ontario Helping Aboriginal Businesses, Communities Create Jobs

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Ontario is partnering with six Aboriginal Financial Institutions to invest $15 million over three years in eligible Aboriginal businesses, organizations and communities. 

The institutions were selected for their expertise, understanding and dedication to promoting and underwriting Aboriginal business development. They include:

Each institution will receive $2.5 million and will use the funding to provide grants for economic capacity-building projects in Aboriginal communities, and business financing for promising community projects and Aboriginal-owned businesses.

Improving economic development opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Quick Facts

  • The $15 million in funding comes from the Business and Community Fund which is part of the larger Aboriginal Economic Development Fund.
  • As part of Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund, the AEDF is providing new employment, training and business opportunities for Aboriginal people across Ontario.
  • Aboriginal businesses, organizations and communities can apply now to the Aboriginal Financial Institution partners closest to them. Métis applicants are also able to apply directly to the Métis Voyageur Development Fund for support.
  • Over the next three years, funding is expected to create or sustain up to 400 jobs and help create more than 100 new Aboriginal-owned businesses.
  • There are more than 9,000 entrepreneurs in Ontario who identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit.

Additional Resources


“Aboriginal businesses and communities face unique challenges. Aboriginal financial institutions understand those challenges and will help Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. The fund will also build much-needed economic development capacity in Aboriginal communities. The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund (AEDF) is an investment in Ontario as a whole, because when Aboriginal people and businesses prosper, all of Ontario prospers.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, the Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario and the Two Rivers Community Development Centre to expand economic opportunities for Aboriginal people across the province. Our participation in this new program will allow the Métis Voyageur Development Fund to expand its financing beyond the resource sectors, opening up exciting opportunities for emerging and growing Métis-owned businesses in Ontario.”

Hon. Paul DeVillers

Chair, Métis Voyageur Development Fund

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work as partners with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs to deliver the AEDF. All Aboriginal people in southwest Ontario will benefit from the enhanced training opportunities and financial support to small business that the AEDF will provide.”

Darren Henry

President, Tecumseh Community Development Corporation

“We truly appreciate the Ontario government's efforts, and recognition of the need, to have these services delivered closer to the Aboriginal people being served. Waubetek is honoured to be a partner on this initiative.”

Dawn Madahbee

General Manager, Waubetek Business Development Corporation

“Working with the province of Ontario and our partners, the Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario and the Métis Voyageur Development Fund, the Two Rivers Community Development Centre is thrilled to expand financing and business support services from Six Nations/New Credit First Nations to Aboriginal businesses located throughout southern Ontario, including the GTA. This partnership will bring exciting opportunities for job creation, economic development and improving access to financing for emerging and growing Aboriginal businesses.”

David Vince

Chief Executive Officer, Two Rivers Community Development Centre

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