REPORT: More Indigenous entrepreneurs in B.C. are finding success, recording profits

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COAST SALISH TERRITORY and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Indigenous entrepreneurs in B.C. say their annual business revenues are increasing while their relationships with non-Indigenous counterparts are improving, according to a new Vancity report. 

A survey of B.C.-based Indigenous entrepreneurs, commissioned by Vancity and conducted by the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB), also shows that despite persistent challenges, most respondents expect additional growth in the next two years. To ensure this happens, barriers cited by Indigenous entrepreneurs in the province must be addressed. Common obstacles include inadequate local infrastructure and government red tape. 

The report, points to positive impacts from Reconciliation efforts, as well. Of those surveyed, 48% say they experienced systemic barriers when dealing with non-Indigenous business relationships five years ago, compared with 21% who experience them now.

Most 2018 survey results compare favourably with responses to a landmark 2016 CCAB survey. The report also found:

“Our report demonstrates the emergence of a strong, increasingly stable and more profitable Indigenous private economy,” says Stewart Anderson, manager of Vancity’s Indigenous partnerships. “Relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are improving. So is access to financing. But long-standing barriers still need to come down.”

Survey respondents were most likely to identify government red tape, employee retention and access to reliable Internet, phone and IT systems as key business challenges. To overcome those and other obstacles, the Vancity report makes a number of recommendations to governments, non-Indigenous businesses, individuals and financial institutions.

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Globe Newswire: 13:00 GMT Thursday 6th December 2018

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