More than half (56%) of Indigenous entrepreneurs have established their business on reserve and/or in rural areas. Getting resources to start a business in a rural area is a bit more difficult. According to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, four in 10 Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada either have no internet connection or a non-reliable connection. Access to resources is a challenge faced by those living rurally.

According to the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, Indigenous economic development is an integral component of reconciliation, holding huge potential to fuel Canadian economic growth.

Rural Indigenous entrepreneurs benefit from dealing with lenders that have in-depth insight into their unique business opportunities and challenges, as they face several obstacles in accessing financing for start-up, ongoing operations, acquisitions, and expansions. Community Futures (CF) offices have an understanding of these unique challenges and offer lending options as well as other forms of support that cater to rural Indigenous business owners.

The BizMaker business development series for Indigenous entrepreneurs, hosted by CF Sagehill in partnership with Indigenous Business Development Services, highlights the importance of effective marketing strategies. The series features Biz Photo, Biz Ads, Biz Marketing workshops to equip rural Indigenous business owners with the tools to effectively market their work.

In addition, the series helps small businesses realize the potential of using social media platforms as a way to reach wider audiences. Biz Insta, Biz Email and Biz Google workshops to help rural Indigenous business people leverage social media, email and search engine optimization for maximum business exposure.

A huge part of a business is the work that goes on behind the scenes: in other terms, bookkeeping and paperwork. This is not just a challenge for Indigenous entrepreneurs, but rural entrepreneurs in general. Learning how to manage financials helps keep start-up rural businesses afloat.

The BizMaker series has in-depth workshops to help these small businesses excel in financial literacy. The Biz Statements and Biz Money workshops are designed to help rural businesses better understand financial statements and equip them with the tools to manage money to achieve financial goals.