Most entrepreneurs know that regardless of the owner’s cultural heritage, for a business to succeed it must be built on solid business practices with an added dose of luck. Many people recognize that female-owned businesses make a key contribution to household incomes and economic growth. However, for most Indigenous women when launching a business their primary goal is to create “abundance” which they can there share with their family and community.

To exemplify the concept of “abundance” here is two brief stories learned from our 2017 proof of concept project where Indigenous women entrepreneurs were matched with experienced business people who provided support to entrepreneurs’ quest for specific business knowledge.
For Shaylene Johnson, her small e-commerce business enables her to provide for her after-school children’s activities.  Jenn Harper owner of Cheekbone Beauty, a cosmetic online business gives First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada 10% of her profits from all purchases. In her first year of operation, she gave $1,705 and had her school board match her donation.

In reading about these two Indigenous entrepreneurs non-Indigenous entrepreneurs may react by saying well these two women have simply used the profits of their small business as they saw fit. Of course, in all cases, there needs to be after tax revenues if the money is to be spent.

But the point I am trying to make here is the difference in mindset Indigenous people, women, in particular, their purpose is more align to moving from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset rather than placing the notion of profit as their primary goal.

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My 2 cents

Guy Dancause, ICN
October 23, 2018