Ontario will invest $70 million over the next seven years to extend the Indigenous Economic Development Fund, originally launched in 2014 as the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund. With a total combined investment of $95 million over ten years, the fund will continue to:
- Help Indigenous communities develop long-term strategies to diversify their economies
- Increase access to employment and training opportunities for Indigenous people
- Provide access to financing to start and expand Indigenous businesses
- Enable communities and businesses to collaborate on region-wide employment and skills training projects.
Partnering with Indigenous businesses and organizations is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Investing in Indigenous economic development is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs.
The Indigenous Economic Development Fund has 3 Funding Streams
- The Business and Community Fund
- Economic Diversification Grants
- Regional Partnership Grants
The Business and Community Fund
The following kinds of organizations are eligible to apply to the Business and Community Fund:
- start-up, early stage and expanding Indigenous businesses
- First Nation and Métis communities
- Indigenous organizations recognized by the province
Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) are now accepting applications for grants, loans, equity and other financing products. Funding decisions are made by individual AFIs. You can apply for funding until March 31, 2017.
Indigenous businesses, organizations and communities can apply now to the AFI partners closest to them:
- Nishnawbe-Aski Development Fund
- Waubetek Business Development Corporation
- Tecumseh Community Development Corporation
- Two Rivers Community Development Centre
- Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario
Métis applicants are also able to apply directly to the Métis Voyageur Development Fund for support.
Economic Diversification Grants
Your organization may be eligible for an Economic Diversification Grant if it is a:
- Provincial Territorial Organization
- Tribal Council
- First Nation community
- Métis community
- Indigenous organizations recognized by the Province of Ontario
Projects funded by Economic Diversification Grants may include:
- community or regional economic development strategies
- community or regional employment and skills training strategies
- investment or marketing strategies to attract external investment
- feasibility studies
- leakage studies
- apprenticeship, internship or co-op placements
The next round of submissions for Economic Diversification Grants applications will begin in January 2017.
Learn about how to apply for an Economic Diversification Grant
Regional Partnership Grants
A group of two or more of the following organization types can apply for a Regional Partnership Grant:
- First Nation communities
- Metis communities
- Political Territorial Organization (PTO) in Ontario.
- Tribal Council in Ontario.
- Aboriginal Financial Institution (AFI) in Ontario.
- Indigenous business organization in Ontario.
- Indigenous organization recognized by the Province of Ontario.
- Non-Indigenous organization (including not-for-profit organizations) in partnership with another eligible organization.
Only AFIs who do not receive funding through the Business and Community Fund may apply for a Regional Partnership Grant.
Projects funded by Regional Partnership Grants may include:
- skills training initiatives (e.g., sector-specific or on-reserve business mentorship, internships, or apprenticeship initiatives that result in provincially recognized qualifications)
- regional or sector-specific business incubators or accelerator programs.
- financing in the natural resource sector for high-potential development projects, like the Ring of Fire
The next round of submissions for Regional Partnership Grants applications will begin in January 2017.
Learn about how to apply for a Regional Partnership Grant
SOURCE: Ontario Newsroom