BDC creates new Aboriginal Business Development Fund in partnership with Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation



    PORT ALBERNI, BC, Feb. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of
Canada (BDC) announced today a partnership agreement with the Nuu-chah-nulth
Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) to create a new Aboriginal Business
Development Fund (ABDF) to benefit entrepreneurs in the Nuu-chah-nulth trading
area. BDC will invest $250,000 in capital for the micro credit loan fund and
qualified entrepreneurs will be able to obtain business loans of up to
$20,000.
    "BDC is committed to helping entrepreneurs and start-ups across the
country," stated Wellington Holbrook, Senior Vice-President, Operations,
Prairies and West. "This new initiative, in partnership with the
Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation, allows us to have a direct
impact on business creation in the region."
    The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation will identify
entrepreneurs who are potential loan candidates. Through the corporation's
established Youth Entrepreneurship program, candidates will be offered
appropriate business training including mentoring and education on such topics
as human resources management, financial planning, marketing and problem
resolution. The emphasis will be placed on the candidate's management
capacity, business feasibility, and commitment as opposed to equity and
security.
    "We want to see better access to capital for Aboriginal entrepreneurs so
they can create and sustain small business ownership locally," said Wilson
Neapew, National Director, Aboriginal Banking at BDC. "Through the ABDF, we
will provide entrepreneurs with the right entrepreneurial knowledge and
support to increase their business management capacity."
    "The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation has a long history
of developing innovative programs such as the Business Equity Program, Youth
Entrepreneurship, Mentoring and Business Links which is ideally suited to the
developing region," said Darlene Watts, NEDC Chairperson. "This agreement with
BDC will ensure that our entrepreneurs are well prepared to take advantage of
the unprecedented employment and business opportunities that exist in their
own backyard."
    Aboriginal communities show higher rates of new business and
self-employment than the Canadian average, with more than 30,000 Aboriginal
people currently running their own businesses. Increased activity means
greater need for a variety of consulting and financial services.

    About BDC

    BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada.
BDC actively supports the development and growth of Canadian small and
medium-sized businesses through its complementary financing, investment and
consulting services.

    About The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation

    The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation was incorporated in
1984 to assist the Nuu-chah-nulth in achieving economic and social
independence through financial assistance and advisory services to individual
and tribal business development initiatives. As a result of agreements with
numerous partners and strong operations over the years, NEDC currently holds
assets totaling more than 20 million dollars restricted to being used to fund
loans or contributions to a variety of fund portfolios. For more information,
visit www.nedc.info.




For further information:

For further information: Johanne Bissonnette, Media Relations Manager,
BDC, (514) 283-7929; Al Little, General Manager, NEDC, (250) 724-3131


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