Information workshop highlights opportunities available for aspiring Metis entrepreneurs and business owners
The Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF) and the New Southern Plains Metis Community 160 hosted an information workshop at Mosaic Place last week to outline programs and funding opportunities for Metis individuals looking to start a business. Four organizations shared valuable information to provide assistance for the Metis community. Whether it is helping them to access low interest loans to establish a business or opportunities available to further education, the organizations gave in-depth presentations on a variety of opportunities and resources available. The four organizations that presented were: the Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF), Sask. Metis Economic Development Corporation, GDI—Pathways for Entrepreneurship and Community Futures South Central.
Tyler Morin, from the Clarence Campeau Development Fund, is responsible for the southern Saskatchewan area and says it was essential to host this type of workshop in order to increase awareness in the Metis community about the wealth of opportunities available for them. “It was very important to bring this kind of workshop to Moose Jaw. Anytime we can get the word out, it is always good. We’re a Saskatchewan operated company through the government and we want to spread the awareness anytime we can do that. We strive on spreading awareness on Metis business and when we have these opportunities, we get to raise more awareness in the community about the programs we offer. There’s quite a population of Metis people in Moose Jaw so we’re excited to bring this awareness of how we can assist them if they would like to start a business.”
He says the Clarence Campeau Development Fund helps businesses from the ground up; business plans, funding and much more! “As long as there’s a Metis component to any business that someone would like to start, we assist with those projects. If individuals want to find out more about what we offer, they can always check out our website at www.clarencecampeau.com or call our Regina office. We appreciate the turn out from Moose Jaw and we want to continue spreading the word and growing the fund. We had a record year last year and we’re hoping to keep that going forward. Last year, we put out about $4.5 million for roughly 45 projects. We’re on pace for that this year again and doing things like this will keep growing the fund and helping Metis people out there. Get in touch with us to see how we can help your projects.” Laverne Trudel, president of the New Southern Plains Metis Community 160, says there are lots of resources and opportunities for Metis people to access. “We’re trying to reach out more into the community to get more Metis involved with what’s out there for them if they’re looking to start a business. We want them to know that there are resources available like funding with very low interests. We want to also get the young Metis people involved in entrepreneurship, so we wanted them to be aware of all the resources and programs available to help them,” he said. “The last census showed that there are about 1500 Metis people living in Moose Jaw and surrounding area. A lot of people don’t realize that there is lots of opportunities and funding for Metis people to start a business or continue their education. These facilitators can all help through the programs they offer. We hope this information will get individuals started in a successful business.”
Some of the guests in attendance said the information was very useful. Lavonne Cobb says she is planning on starting a business and the information she received was valuable. “I got quite a bit of information out of this meeting. I didn’t know that there was so much funding available, especially for women. The information definitely got me on the right foot to start a business.”
Cauy Cobb, a college student, shared similar sentiments. “The information was very insightful. I’m a college student and I’m not really looking to start a business right now but I’m happy to know the opportunities that are available for me for the future. It is great that there is so much available for us if we decide to start a business, as well as funding for other things like education.”
The New Southern Plains Metis Community 160 meets on the last Sunday every month at 310 Main St N in the Hammond Building. They will also have their annual general meeting on September 30 at the next meeting.
“There’s quite a population of Metis people in Moose Jaw so we’re excited to bring this awareness of how we can assist them if they would like to start a business.” -Tyler Morin