A program that fosters Indigenous entrepreneurs has received a substantial donation toward its expansion.
BMO Financial Group has gifted a million dollars to the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) Program which was developed by Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP) and the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business
Frank Parnell, CEO of TRICORP, says “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.”
The Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program operates in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Nass Valley, Skidegate, Old Masset and the greater Enderby area.
“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.”
The five-year-old initiative supports Indigenous peoples aiming to take advantage of development in their territories to create businesses that benefit them and their communities.
Over 275 graduates have completed the program and it has already fostered 72 business start-ups.