Atlantic Canada’s First Aboriginal Business Accelerator Launches
(Fredericton, January 22, 2016) – Aboriginal entrepreneurs in New Brunswick will benefit from a new program started today designed to help their businesses take advantage of opportunities in the multi-billion dollar National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).
“The JEDI Aboriginal Business Accelerator Program is very exciting,” says Alex Dedam, President of the Joint Economic Development Initiative. “This 10-week business skills development and mentorship program will help high potential entrepreneurs become better positioned to fully benefit from the federal shipbuilding program and related supply chain opportunities.”
The JEDI Aboriginal Business Accelerator Program will provide weekly training and mentorship to a cohort of five Aboriginal entrepreneurs from across New Brunswick in key business areas such as:
* Positioning a business for success;
* Business development and sales;
* Proposal development;
* Certification and regulatory requirements;
* Financial management and raising capital;
* Project management;
* Human resource management.
Participants will also connect with key resources, learn from representatives of large defense firms and receive mentorship from both successful Aboriginal entrepreneurs and members of the New Brunswick Aerospace and Defense Association.
“The New Brunswick Aerospace & Defence Association and its participating members are excited to assist with this important initiative and look forward to providing solid guidance and advice in the mentorship portion of this effort”, says Peter Hess, Managing Director of the New Brunswick Aerospace and Defense Association.
The first cohort for the program will run from January 22 to March 25, 2016. A personalized business support plan and financial support will be provided to participants upon program completion.
The program is part of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy. This partnership is between JEDI, the Government of Canada, the Government of New Brunswick, the Saint John River Valley Tribal Council, the North Shore Micmac Tribal Council, MAWIW, the New Brunswick Aerospace and Defense Association and the New Brunswick Building Trades Council. The business accelerator program is also supported by Bank of Montreal.
Established in 1995, the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) works with partners to foster Aboriginal economic development in New Brunswick. JEDI works with all 15 Aboriginal communities in New Brunswick and Aboriginal people living outside their communities. JEDI is funded by the Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick.
Created in 2014, the New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy was a concept initiated by the New Brunswick Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat in partnership with JEDI. The Strategy responds to the many economic development opportunities presented by the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). Recommendations of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy are the result of engagement with Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal entrepreneurs, industry and supporting organizations. The New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy implementation process is supported by an advisory committee from Aboriginal communities, industry, organized labour and chaired by the New Brunswick Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat.
JEDI Shipbuilding Strategy Manager