TRICORP CEO Frank Parnell, left, and Brent Mainprize, program director of ACE Programs and a Gustavson faculty member, have worked together for more than 18 years on a number of Indigenous economic development initiatives. (Photo courtesy UVic Photo Services)

$1M donation expands business education program for aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs

BMO Financial Group gifts $1M to expand the Aboriginal Canadians Entrepreneur Program (ACE).

Indigenous business ventures in Canada will get a boost thanks to a $1 million donation from BMO Financial Group to expand the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program (ACE),

The University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business developed the ACE program in partnership with the Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP), to provide culturally appropriate and community-tailored business education in Indigenous communities across B.C..

“The ACE program has become, and will continue to be, the key catalyst in forging our economic self-reliance. Our program ensures the participation of Aboriginal people in the economy as business owners,” said Frank Parnell, CEO of TRICORP.

The program runs for 20 weeks, with aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs receiving education in the classroom, mentorship coaching sessions and hands-on entrepreneurial exercises. A key part of the program is developing a business plan for a startup venture.

Since ACE started in 2013, more than 275 graduates from 26 Indigenous communities across B.C. have taken the program, 72 business ventures have been launched, and many more are in the planning stages.

The program has received multiple awards since its inception, including the 2016 Overall Global Best Award where it was chosen from a competitive pool of six categories encompassing seven world regions and 84 finalists.

To help expand this innovative and international award-winning program to other areas of B.C. and to regions across Canada, BMO Financial Group stepped up and committed $1 million to ACE. The first program expansion, to start this month, will be entrepreneurial training on Vancouver Island for Indigenous artisans wanting to launch or expand their art-based ventures. Known as ACE Artists, the training for the pilot program is supported by the BMO Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Catalyst Fund.

“We greatly appreciate BMO’s support for the ACE program,” says UVic President Jamie Cassels. “The BMO Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Catalyst Fund will enable us to expand this program and build on the wonderful collaboration we have with TRICORP. This gift will allow the partnership to bring entrepreneurship courses to more Indigenous communities throughout the country.”


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Two Oak Bay officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

UPDATE: Recycling truck destroyed by fire in Victoria

Emterra truck sitting on McLure Street in residential neighbourhood, driver safe

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

VicPD cuts school liaison program over budget impasse with Esquimalt

Six officers, including three school liaisons, to be reassigned to frontline duties

Vancouver Island is home to some of the ‘rattiest’ cities in B.C.

Three municipalities in Greater Victoria, and three more around the Island have gnawed their way into the top 20

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Sights of Saanich bring smiles to Japanese delegation

A small leap highlighted the short but potentially historic visit of a… Continue reading

Arrests made after truck crashes into unmarked police cars in Nanaimo

Two men facing numerous charges after allegedly fleeing scene on the mid-island

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

Most Read