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History & Update February 2008. ABSN BC Background The ABSN BC (Aboriginal Business Service Network – BC Region) is funded by Western Economic Diversification.

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Presentation on theme: "History & Update February 2008. ABSN BC Background The ABSN BC (Aboriginal Business Service Network – BC Region) is funded by Western Economic Diversification."— Presentation transcript:

1 History & Update February 2008

2 ABSN BC Background The ABSN BC (Aboriginal Business Service Network – BC Region) is funded by Western Economic Diversification (WD), as part of a national initiative that is one element of the Aboriginal Business Development Initiative.

3 In BC the ABSN BC was implemented following a regional research study (Gap Analysis) titled “Assessing the Business Information Needs of Aboriginal Entrepreneurs in B.C.”, published in January 2001. A steering committee guided the development of this report ABSN BC Implementation

4 ABSN BC Mission: The original Mission of the ABSN BC was: “To assist Aboriginal peoples to realize their economic goals by improving access to and use of business information and services.”

5 ABSN BC Mission: (now) “ The Aboriginal Business Services Network will strengthen Aboriginal business service providers in British Columbia by enhancing access to business information and resources.” July 2007

6 To compliment and enhance the design and delivery of products and services to B.C. Aboriginal Entrepreneurs To foster coordination and cooperation among appropriate stakeholders ABSN BC Goals

7 Our Board is representative of: Aboriginal Capital Corporations Aboriginal Community Futures Aboriginal Business Service Centres Community Futures Development Association of BC Business Services Canada And……………………………… Board of Directors

8 Government Representatives & Federal Agencies Western Economic Diversification Indian & Northern Affairs Canada Services Canada B.C. Aboriginal Relations Aboriginal Business Canada B.C. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation

9 Gap Analysis Recommendations There were 8 key recommendations: 1. Improve awareness and distribution of existing business information tools to better meet the needs of Aboriginal entrepreneurs, and developing new tools in both print and electronic formats to address topics not adequately covered by existing material.

10 2. Improve services for businesses after they have been established preferably on a continuing basis throughout the life of the business. 3. Develop vehicles and processes that will facilitate formal and informal business networks at local and regional levels.

11 4. Invest in building capacity of service provider personnel to ensure quality service, through hiring policies, monitoring, networking, and on- going training.

12 5. Enhance web-based services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and their capacity to access such services & integrate Internet-based information with other forms of service delivery

13 6. Extend business information services to those in more remote and underserved areas, and to groups with unique needs through consultation, networking, funding and informational products and services tailored to their unique needs.

14 7. Promote greater understanding of & more cultural sensitivity towards Aboriginal entrepreneurs. 8. Foster coordination & cooperation among government agencies, and between government & service agencies through a BC Economic Development Working Group.

15 Gap Analysis The ‘Gap Analysis’ was conducted by a Team from Simon Fraser University. A survey of Aboriginal Resources & Services, Entrepreneurs, Business Owners & Operators, and clients of Aboriginal Financial Institutions and Service Providers. Contacts were made by telephone, one on one and group consultation sessions

16 Reach Sites: Purpose: To enhance service providers abilities to respond to the needs of their clients, community and Aboriginal Entrepreneurs, through provision of access to a computer, internet and written resource materials.

17 “ACED Toolbox” Western Diversification & Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation provided resources for the development of an Introductory Level Aboriginal Community Economic Development (ACED) Curriculum. This partnership expanded to include Indian & Northern Affairs Canada, B.C. Region

18 The “ACED Toolbox” may be delivered in three (3) ways: 1. Self Study – A Manuel is completed and available to CED Practitioners. This may be used, at your convenience, as a resource or a tool, to respond to questions which arise in the daily course of work.

19 2. Supported Self or Classroom Study  The curriculum may be made available to qualified post secondary institutions who chose to accredit and deliver the ACED on a tuition basis.  The B.C. Aboriginal Business Service Network (ABSN) will provide oversight for the program delivery.

20 3. The first step towards achieving the Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer Certificate through CANDO.  An agreement has been reached with NVIT to have this as part of their E- Learning and distance education. Other potential agreements are in discussion

21 The “Tool Box” includes “tools” that may provide both academic and practical skill development to Aboriginal Community Economic Development Officers (EDOs). This will help to improve individual capacity for day-to-day work, & may help those who wish to obtain academic accreditation or CANDO’s recognition.

22 This “tool box” is an excellent beginning for the introduction to Community Economic Development (CED) training. It is designed to provide relevant tools for people involved with CED, and to improve the skills and competencies desired by the working EDOs.

23 ACED Modules: 1. Community Participation in Planning in Aboriginal Communities 2. Community Participation in Promoting Sustainable Community Change 3. Administration and Organization in Aboriginal Communities

24 ACED Modules:…….. 4. Human Resource Development in Aboriginal Communities 5. SEE (Sustainable Entrepreneurial Economy) Your Future 6. Community Based Research Methods ‘Collecting and Using Information Successfully in Aboriginal Communities’

25 ACED Modules……………… 7. Business and Enterprise Development in Aboriginal Communities – ‘How to Respond to the Need for Community Change’ 8. Business Planning Workbook 9. Governance for Aboriginal Communities

26 The Need According to Canada – Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable Government of Canada Economic Opportunities Background Paper, Dec. 2004, eight key enablers, or pre-conditions, are needed for sustainable economic opportunities for Aboriginal communities.

27 They are: Human capital, economic infrastructure, access to land and resources, research and development, enterprise formation and development, quality of life, streamlined regulatory / legislative regime. There are no existing programs to help train EDO’s

28 According to the same paper, human capital, natural resources, technological problems, lack of social and economic infrastructure, cultural and political variances are some barriers to economic growth.

29 Among the pre-conditions and barriers, human capital is essential in economic development, and Aboriginal Economic Development Officers play an important role in local community and economic development.

30 Next Steps Ask the REACH Sites for input on how the ABSN may support them; How to improve their network? Share some practical information that may be used in their daily work? Respond to a ‘Provincial’ need to improve communications? Could be made available through technology

31 Contact B.C. Aboriginal Business Service Network c/o 215 – 345 Yellowhead Highway Kamloops, B. C. Barbara Stewart, Provincial Coordinator Phone: 250 828-9834 Email:

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