TORONTO, May 23, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Council for Aboriginal
Business (CCAB) today released an extensive and comprehensive report
conducted on Aboriginal Economic Development Corporations (EDCs) in
"EDCs are seen as invaluable conduits between government, industry and
Aboriginal communities, providing a business base from which to build
long-term sustainable relationships. Driving revenue from community
businesses for community benefits is seen as a necessity for community
growth. This report is testament to the expanding success of
Aboriginal business, where best practices are intersecting with
innovation and business experience." stated JP Gladu, President and CEO
of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
The research provides the first authoritative picture of these First
Nation community-owned corporations, which operate throughout Ontario
and drive business growth on and off First Nations. EDCs are as diverse
as the communities they represent, operating in mining, forestry and
energy as well as owning airlines, industrial parks, and providing
high-speed Internet. Some of these firms have been operating since the
1970s, contributing to Aboriginal business growth as well as the
Canadian economy as a whole. However, little is known about what they
are, what they do, or what drives their success. This report provides
in-depth, quantifiable answers to those questions, based on interviews
conducted throughout the winter of 2012 in communities across Ontario.
While these community-owned corporations often need support at start up,
a majority used First Nation or government funding during incubation.
Once operating, recurring revenue replaces these funding sources and
drives business growth. In fact, the more mature, successful EDCs note
that they return more to the government in taxes than their communities
receive in all funding and programs combined. The early support of
government programs that engage business people and help set the stage
for growth can pay dividends that last for years.
"This survey demonstrates that Ontario is continuing to move in the
right direction," said David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
"Ontario is proud of its diverse programs, including the New
Relationship Fund, which builds consultation and project capacity for
Aboriginal communities and organizations. Innovation, drive, vision and
determination have been vital ingredients in the success of Aboriginal
EDCs, and we'll continue working together to support the dynamic and
innovative Aboriginal entrepreneurs who contribute so much to their
communities and to Ontario's future prosperity."
EDCs are driving partnerships between First Nations, Inuit and Métis,
people and private business, showing real results through job creation,
infrastructure development and training programs.
The goal of these firms is self-sufficiency for their communities, which
they are achieving through economic development. While job creation was
once seen as an end in itself, the trend today is clearly towards
building profitable, professional modern companies. Capacity building
is seen as key to this, as well as complying with strict corporate
standards. To this end, EDCs are increasingly getting ISO
certification, focusing on corporate and boardroom training, and
building business skills in their home communities.
Over 130 communities were contacted and 62 EDCs were identified. Of
those, 27 were reached for interview, half of which were conducted in
person. CCAB conducted this research in partnership with Environics, a
leading national research and consulting firm.
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) was founded in 1984
by a small group of visionary business and community leaders committed
to the full participation of Aboriginal people in Canada's economy. A
national non-profit organization, CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and
programs to both mainstream and Aboriginal owned member companies that
foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses
SOURCE: The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
For further information:
President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
1 (416) 961-8663