- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
Indigenous-owned business is booming in Canada.
Just ask Jenn Harper, one of the best-known Indigenous entrepreneurs in the country; she’s the St. Catharines, Ont.-based founder and CEO of Canada’s first Indigenous-owned cosmetics brand, Cheekbone Beauty.
“For years I think our people had a negative view of what business is because we [were] coming at it from this Western view,” Ms. Harper says. But that viewpoint is changing as more people see that “when we do [business] from an Indigenous lens, you can build business for good,” she says.
According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the number of Indigenous business owners is growing at five times the rate of self-employed Canadians, with Indigenous people contributing nearly $50-billion to Canada’s economy in 2020.
Still, barriers to this growth persist. For example, the Bank of Canada said that just 0.2 per cent of available capital financing in Canada is accessible to First Nations businesses.
This funding gap makes it extremely challenging for Indigenous businesses to scale and grow, says Ms. Harper.