Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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B.C. announces funding for Indigenous entrepreneurs developing ag businesses


July 3, 2020
By Fruit and Vegetable

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A new stream of funding 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 provincial government states that 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.

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“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.”

In addition to the 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.

Applications are now being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and will remain open until the funding is fully subscribed.