Government of Canada supports Indigenous economic development in southern Ontario

by ahnationtalk on June 1, 2023193 Views

From: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

New, dedicated resources to help Indigenous-led businesses and organizations now available

June 1, 2023

Indigenous businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs play an important role across Canada in growing local economies, creating good jobs, and providing unique products, services and experiences that benefit Canadians. The Government of Canada is committed to walking the path of reconciliation alongside First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples, ensuring that Indigenous-owned organizations and businesses have the support they need to thrive in an inclusive, strong economy.

The Government of Canada’s investments in Indigenous businesses build a diverse and strong economy because we know that when one organization succeeds, we all succeed. During National Indigenous History Month and all year long, we look forward to speaking with and meeting Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses and learning how we can help them grow.

Since November 2015, and throughout the pandemic, FedDev Ontario contributed more than $70 million to support more than 240 Indigenous-led and Indigenous-focused projects, creating and maintaining more than 4,500 jobs.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced that a dedicated team and resources are now available to help guide Indigenous-owned businesses and organizations in southern Ontario on programming and services available to them. This team is connecting with Indigenous-led businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to encourage them to visit FedDev Ontario’s new webpage and contact the Agency by telephone or email to learn more about government funding and support available to help them reach their potential, and achieve their goals.

The Government of Canada supports Indigenous businesses as they develop and grow. We have invested over $1 million for the Pinnguaq Association (Pinnguaq) to work in partnership with a growing network of southern Ontario Indigenous communities and organizations to offer digital literacy training tools, internship opportunities, job placements and targeted recruitment activities to Indigenous-led businesses and underrepresented job-seekers in communities in southeastern Ontario. The project is expected to support 60 Indigenous businesses through 120 internships and job placements.

The Government of Canada is also providing an investment of $5 million for the City of Toronto towards the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE), the first Indigenous business incubator of its kind in southern Ontario. Located at 200 Dundas Street East in Toronto, the ICIE will offer business skills training, collaborative workspaces, access to funding, mentorship and peer support networks based on approaches designed by the Indigenous community. Innovation hubs are a great resource for entrepreneurs at any stage of their business. This investment is expected to create hundreds of jobs for Indigenous Peoples across southern Ontario, enabling them to participate in and benefit from economic opportunities available throughout the region.

For additional information on government funding and support available for Indigenous businesses and organizations, please visit our website or contact our team by telephone at 1-877-553-5507 or by email at


“Diversity is our strength, and our Government knows that when we invest in Indigenous business owners, everybody wins. This new approach will help connect Indigenous entrepreneurs in southern Ontario with the resources, skills training, mentorship, and access to funding needed to reach their full potential. We are here to support Indigenous entrepreneurs and leaders to achieve their goals and help increase the participation of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Peoples in the southern Ontario economy.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Canadian Council For Aboriginal Business congratulates FedDev Ontario on the launch of their new dedicated services, which were created to provide resources and support to Indigenous-owned organizations and businesses. We encourage initiatives such as this to advance inclusive economic growth and empower Indigenous entrepreneurs on the path to economic reconciliation.”
– Tabatha Bull, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

“With FedDev Ontario support, the Pinnguaq Association is honoured to be able to co-deliver entrepreneurial programming with Indigenous communities and businesses in both settler communities and Indigenous Nations on Treaty 20 and Williams Treaty land. We were pleased to learn of FedDev Ontario’s new dedicated team and support to help Indigenous organizations and entrepreneurs to navigate options and funding available to them, as they seek to grow their businesses.”
– Ryan Oliver, CEO, the Pinnguaq Association

“The City of Toronto is proud to partner with FedDev Ontario to help launch the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a one-of-a-kind Indigenous business incubator set to open in 2024. The new dedicated resources announced by FedDev Ontario today will provide further business eco-system supports and guidance for Indigenous entrepreneurs and organizations, and help to create a more inclusive economy in communities across southern Ontario.”
– Tobias Novogrodsky, Director, Business Growth Services, Economic Development & Culture, City of Toronto

Quick facts

  • Included in FedDev support since November 2015 was a $3.5-million investment for Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) to deliver support to Indigenous-led tourism entities across southern Ontario, in addition to direct investments for Indigenous-led tourism organizations and businesses through the Tourism Relief Fund.
  • Founded in 2012 in Nunavut, the Pinnguaq Association has expanded into a national not-for-profit organization with dual-headquarters in Iqaluit, Nunavut and Lindsay, Ontario. To date, Pinnguaq has assisted more than 50,000 participants nationally through training classes and in-person interactions.
  • The City of Toronto is home to the largest Indigenous population in Ontario and the fourth largest in Canada, with close to 69,000 residents.

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

FedDev Ontario
Media Relations


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