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Support for Indigenous entrepreneurs helps bring agriculture to more communities

More opportunities are coming for B.C.’s Indigenous entrepreneurs interested in developing food and agriculture businesses and supporting local food security in their communities.

“Our government recognizes the importance of supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs who are growing food and developing agriculture businesses in their communities,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “By providing tools and knowledge needed to succeed in the sector, we are investing in a more-resilient food system that will keep high-quality, local food on tables in communities throughout B.C.”

A new stream of support is being added to the B.C. Indigenous Agriculture Development Program to help Indigenous entrepreneurs with up to $8,000 in specialized planning and coaching services to develop and plan their food and agricultural businesses.

“Supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs to develop their agriculture business is a vital part of continuing to build local food security in B.C.,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture. “Through the program, more opportunities are available to bring agriculture to more places, helping create jobs and growing the province’s agriculture industry.”

The expansion of this program to individuals is helping ensure accessibility and flexibility for Indigenous entrepreneurs in the B.C. food and agriculture sector. Supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs to strengthen and grow their businesses helps create economic activity, local employment and contributes to the province’s food production capacity and food security in rural and urban communities.

“The Williams Lake First Nation fully supports B.C.’s agriculture sector, food security and our People’s entrepreneurial spirit, especially during this pandemic,” said Chief Willie Sellars, Williams Lake First Nation. “We are happy to see this new addition to the B.C. Indigenous Agriculture Development Program for Indigenous Entrepreneurs. With this program, our entrepreneurs will now receive assistance in business development, along with coaching provided by qualified business consultants. This new program is both beneficial and supportive for my community members and to all Indigenous agricultural entrepreneurs in B.C.”

Applications are now being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and will remain open until the funding is fully subscribed. To apply, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/indigenous-agriculture-development-program

Quick Facts:

  • The B.C. Indigenous Agriculture Development Program, started in 2018, is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial $3-billion investment in support to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.
  • In addition to the new, specialized support for Indigenous entrepreneurs, the program provides support for Indigenous governments, communities, Tribal Councils, economic development corporations and other Indigenous organizations.
  • Funding of up to $19,000 is available to Indigenous governments, communities and organizations for feasibility assessments of food and agriculture development options, food security planning and business planning offered through a two-step program, including a new community engagement top-up fund to support community involvement and participation in planning and implementation.   

Learn More:

B.C. Indigenous Agriculture Development Program for Indigenous Entrepreneurs program guide:
https://www2.qa.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/programs/indigenous-agriculture-development/bciadp_entrepreneur_program_guide.pdf  

Canada and B.C. support agriculture in Indigenous communities:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/18285

Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs in British Columbia:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs

For more information on the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, visit:
http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/?id=1461767369849

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