For Immediate Release - EntrepreNorth and the Mastercard Foundation extend partnership to ignite a movement of Indigenous entrepreneurs across the North
EntrepreNorth, a project with a mission to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses and livelihoods across the North, is thrilled to announce the extension of its partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.
The partnership, which honours Indigenous knowledge systems, creates social change, and generates new economic pathways, was first established in 2020 for an initial three-year period.
Now a five-year partnership, this collaboration will drive a movement of Indigenous entrepreneurship that uplifts Northern leadership, mobilizes a community of changemakers, empowers the spirit of innovation, and makes financing more equitable for underserved communities.
The initial partnership, through the Mastercard Foundation EleV Program, allowed EntrepreNorth to get rooted and take its programming to the next level. Initiatives included the cohort-based Entrepreneur Growth Program, Business Ideation Workshops, and a pilot Indigenous Facilitator Certification Program. There was also a strong focus on storytelling through the production of business impact videos and EntrepreNorth’s podcast series, Venture Out.
“We believe that Northern Indigenous entrepreneurs and social innovators can become catalysts of prosperity and drivers of social change within their own communities, and that the development of sustainable enterprises can create local economic opportunities to help break through poverty, address social challenges, and strengthen Northern ways of life,” says Benjamin Scott, EntrepreNorth Founding Project Director and Co-Lead.
“Our continued work with the Mastercard Foundation is a catalyst for bringing greater resources and partnerships to the North, which is critical for breaking down systemic barriers. There are longstanding socio-economic gaps in education, employment, digital equity, and income levels between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations; and in the flow of capital to Indigenous-owned businesses. As a Northern and Indigenous-led project we are innovating solutions to these problems while ensuring that the benefits of our project reside in the North.”
Through this five-year partnership, Indigenous young people will gain access to culturally relevant business education and capacity development; wrap-around supports and technology; community and ecosystem building; resources for driving policy change and thought leadership; platforms for sharing impact stories; and greater access to capital.
“Indigenous youth see entrepreneurship as a path to a meaningful livelihood and a way to contribute to their communities,” says Jennifer Brennan, Director of Canada Programs at the Mastercard Foundation. “EntrepreNorth’s unique approach grounded in Indigenous worldviews and values delivers what Indigenous youth are seeking. We are excited to partner with EntrepreNorth, enabling the right support at the right time to unlock growth and possibility.”
“Ultimately,” says Scott, “our vision is a movement of Northern Indigenous entrepreneurs who are innovating solutions to strengthen economic resilience and community wellbeing for generations to come. The Mastercard Foundation is getting behind this vision in a meaningful way and demonstrating how philanthropy is done right. We hold immense gratitude for their support and we’re looking forward to catalyzing transformative change that has a powerful ripple effect across the North.”
EntrepreNorth empowers Indigenous entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses and livelihoods across the North. The project offers culturally-grounded business programming to early-stage entrepreneurs in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon who are ready to elevate their business and community impact. EntrepreNorth is a project on MakeWay's shared platform.
For more information on EntrepreNorth, please visit entreprenorth.ca.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation is a registered Canadian charity and one of the largest foundations in the world. It works with visionary organizations to advance education and financial inclusion to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous youth in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. Established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company, the Foundation is an independent organization separate from the company, with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa. Its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by the Foundation's Board of Directors and leadership.
For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.
For more information, please contact:
Partner, Public Affairs and Communications, Canada Programs
For immediate release - New Season of “Venture Out” Podcast Spotlights Ten Indigenous Entrepreneurs from Across the North
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - New Season of “Venture Out” Podcast Spotlights Ten Indigenous Entrepreneurs from Across the North
Yellowknife, NT (June 15, 2023) - “Venture Out”, a podcast from EntrepreNorth that amplifies the brave voices of Northern Indigenous entrepreneurs, is launching a new season. This 10-part series will feature changemakers from across the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon. Many of the guests are EntrepreNorth program alumni and friends and mentors within our circle who are all inspiring innovation and community wellbeing through business.
Hosted and produced by Xina Cowan, EntrepreNorth Co-Director, "Venture Out” Season 2 will take listeners on an immersive journey into the lives and businesses of Indigenous entrepreneurs who are choosing a different path and uplifting others along the way. Each episode will feature in-depth conversations that reveal the highs and lows of operating a venture in the North and the unique perspectives, strategies, and cultural teachings that have shaped the entrepreneurs’ way of offering products and services that resonate with their customers and communities.
This season, listeners will meet Joella Hogan, Owner of the yukon soaps company in Mayo, Yukon (YT); Misty Ireland, Owner of Dene Roots in Hay River, Northwest Territories (NT); Brian Ladue, Owner of Northern Wild Productions in Faro, YT; Jennifer Lindell, Owner of Jenn 87 Hairstyling in Iqaluit, Nunavut (NU); Jordan Peterson, Owner of Affinity North in Whitehorse, YT and others. Each episode features music from Northern artists and Venture Out’s theme song is Fires Across the Tundra by Juno-winning musician Leela Gilday.
“Venture Out” Season 2 launches on National Indigenous People’s Day - June 21, 2023 and will be available for streaming and download on all major podcast platforms. Listeners are encouraged to subscribe to the podcast and follow EntrepreNorth’s social media channels to receive updates and access exclusive content.
To check out Season 1, visit EntrepreNorth’s website or listen on any major podcast platform.
Misty Ireland, Owner of Dene Roots and featured guest on “Venture Out” Season 2
“Indigenous entrepreneurs have the freedom, flexibility and opportunity to build important teachings into the foundation of their businesses. Our businesses help drive health, wellbeing, and balance that can save us and Mother Earth. By sharing my story with others, I am demystifying the concept of entrepreneurship and showing that taking a risk can lead to big success on the individual and community level.”
Xina Cowan, Producer and Host of Venture Out and EntrepreNorth Co-Director
“The North is a beautiful place and it's unlike anywhere else. And that means operating a business up here, especially in the more remote communities, has its own unique opportunities and challenges. Northern Indigenous entrepreneurs are innovating solutions, they are driving new narratives, and they are at the helm of economic reconciliation. Venture Out is a celebration of their ingenuity and it’s an invitation for listeners to open their minds and feel inspired.”
from Benjamin Scott, EntrepreNorth Founding Director / Co-Lead
“We are witnessing a movement of entrepreneurship that is driving social change and contributing to healthy culture and communities across the North. In our work, we recognize that amplifying stories of entrepreneurship and Indigenous excellence can lead to transformative change at a deeper systems level. When Indigenous entrepreneurs share their spirit of innovation with others, there is a powerful ripple effect that supports all facets of our collective wellbeing. This is our ‘why’ behind Venture Out.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
EntrepreNorth Marketing Specialist
For Immediate Release – Ten digital creatives will spend the next nine months honing their business, leadership and networking skills
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon – September 26, 2022 – Launching this week, the 2022-23 cohort of EntrepreNorth’s Entrepreneur Growth Program will bring together ten digital creatives, including filmmakers, graphic designers, musicians, visual artists, videographers, and sound engineers, from across the three territories for a nine-month personal and business growth journey.
There is a growing demand for digital services and content that are Indigenous-owned and produced, culturally relevant, and authentic. This demand coupled with the proliferation of video streaming technology and content sharing platforms, and greater access to high-speed internet in the North is creating new opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs in remote locations to build digital-driven businesses.
“EntrepreNorth is excited to support a talented group of Indigenous creatives who are helping to grow the digital arts and media sector across the North. Our programming will help them to hone their business and leadership skills, access mentorship, and develop industry connections to expand their market reach and impact in a way that honours their own culture, languages, and worldviews.” says EntrepreNorth’s Founding Project Director, Benjamin Scott.
The 2022-23 Digital Creatives Cohort includes:
“When I first became an entrepreneur, it was difficult to find the necessary information and resources to build a business and I didn’t have access to an entrepreneurial mentor. The EntrepreNorth program is so important because it provides northern entrepreneurs with these critical tools for launching and expanding their businesses. As importantly, it creates a safe space for Indigenous business owners to learn and grow together. I’m excited to see what the next nine months brings us!” says Jamie Wetrade-Stevenson, cohort participant.
To learn more about the entrepreneurs and their ventures, visit the Digital Creatives Cohort page.
EntrepreNorth empowers Indigenous entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses and livelihoods across northern Canada. EntrepreNorth delivers culturally-grounded business programming to early-stage entrepreneurs in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon who are ready to elevate their business and community impact. EntrepreNorth is a project on MakeWay's shared platform. For more information, visit www.entreprenorth.ca.
Website: entreprenorth.ca | Social Media: @entreprenorth | #innovationspirit
Xina Cowan, Community Manager | EntrepreNorth
T: 1 (514) 606-1226
For Immediate Release - Northern and Indigenous entrepreneurs feed their passion for food by sharpening business and leadership skills
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon - October 5, 2021 - Starting this week EntrepreNorth is welcoming a new cohort into its Entrepreneur Growth Program. The theme of this 2021-2022 cohort is local food which is integral to our economies, daily health and wellbeing, and growing sovereignty as communities and Nations.
The making and sharing of food brings communities closer together and connects us to the land and our ways of life. This cohort is bringing together a group of entrepreneurs from across the North who are passionate about sharing their love of food with others. “We look forward to supporting this group of entrepreneurs with new business skills to offer products that bring a sense of culture and place to our tables” says EntrepreNorth Project Director, Benjamin Scott.
The 2021-2022 Local Food cohort includes:
Beginning this month, these eleven entrepreneurs are embarking on a nine-month personal and business growth journey. Through a unique combination of cohort-based learning, applied work sprints, one-on-one business mentorship and professional coaching, the entrepreneurs will be supported in taking strategic steps to develop and grow thriving food businesses. A key part of the experience will be learning from each other, building industry relationships across the North and Canada, and connecting with EntrepreNorth’s growing ecosystem of supporters.
“I’m really looking forward to harnessing my skills as an entrepreneur with the other members of this program. There is so much involved in operating a food business and it feels good to know that we’re all on this journey together. We are creative, innovative people with a deep desire to connect with others through food and culture. The talent and determination is there, and we now have the opportunity to learn about business in a way that resonates with who we are as Indigenous people,” says Lance Raddi Gray, Cohort participant.
To learn more about the entrepreneurs and their ventures, visit the local food cohort page.
EntrepreNorth empowers Indigenous and community-based entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses and livelihoods across Northern Canada. EntrepreNorth delivers culturally-grounded business programming to early-stage entrepreneurs in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon who are ready to elevate their business and community impact. EntrepreNorth is a project on MakeWay's shared platform, which provides operational supports, governance, and charitable expertise for changemakers. The shared platform enables more time and money to go towards achieving greater impact. MakeWay is a national charity that builds partnerships and solutions to help nature and communities thrive together. For more information, visit www.entreprenorth.ca.
Website: entreprenorth.ca | Social Media: @entreprenorth | #innovationspirit
Xina Cowan, Community Manager | EntrepreNorth
T: 1 (514) 606-1226
EntrepreNorth welcomes a cohort of 12 Indigenous fashion entrepreneurs ready to elevate their business and the industry
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon - September 10, 2020 - EntrepreNorth is proud to announce the third cohort of its Entrepreneur Growth Program. The theme of this new cohort is Circumpolar Fashion.
“We are very excited to welcome a new cohort of 12 inspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs - all women - who are ready to elevate Northern fashion through the power of entrepreneurship,” says EntrepreNorth Project Director, Benjamin Scott.
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon - June 19, 2020 - EntrepreNorth is excited to announce a new partnership with Shopify to accelerate the growth of ecommerce opportunities for Indigenous and community-based entrepreneurs across Northern Canada. Shopify is a leading global commerce company founded in Canada, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size.
EntrepreNorth creates new partnership with Mastercard Foundation to amplify innovation in Northern communities
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon – June 17, 2020 – EntrepreNorth is honoured to announce a new partnership with the Mastercard Foundation that will see $1 million invested over three years into the growth of Northern entrepreneurship for Indigenous youth.
EntrepreNorth welcomes its second cohort of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon tourism entrepreneurs
Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon - September 16, 2019 - EntrepreNorth is proud to announce the second cohort of its northern entrepreneur support program. The theme of this new cohort is On-theLand Tourism. Successful applicants include: James McPherson, who offers custom adventure tours in the Sahtú Region; Bobbi Rose Koe, who guides tourists and youth along the Peel River; Alexander Flaherty, who takes clients on land and fishing expeditions, and five other tourism entrepreneurs from across the North.
NUNAVUT, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, YUKON – SEPTEMBER 7, 2018 – EntrepreNorth is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the recently launched northern entrepreneur support program. The theme of the first cohort is land- and marine-based products. Successful applicant ventures include: Hinaani Design, a clothing and design enterprise from Nunavut; Aurora Heat, a fur-based business from the Northwest Territories; and The Yukon Soaps Company, a bath and body company from the Yukon.