Frank Parnell, the CEO of TRICORP, and Brent Mainprize, the ACE program director, announced the program will receive $1 million from BMO Financial Group. (UVic Photo Services)

$1 million to expand Indigenous entrepreneur program

Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program, dreamed up in northwest B.C., to grow nationally

This month alone, 22 students in northwest B.C. will be graduating from the Northwest Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program (ACE) — a program that recently received $1 million to expand nationwide.

It’s the first time the six-month program has been offered in the Nass, where 19 students have taken classes on topics ranging from law and marketing to organizational behaviour and then mentored by an expert in their business field. For the 13 students from Terrace, it’s the second time ACE has been offered in their city.

“We’ve offered it in Prince Rupert I can’t even remember how many time now,” said Cory Stephens, the program manager in the northwest.

After five years, the program has 275 graduates from 26 Indigenous communities in B.C. Approximately 72 businesses have been started by people who have graduated from regional ACE programs.

“It’s not only an entrepreneurship program. It really changes the way graduates visualize and see opportunity,” Stephens said. “It positively affects our graduates in all aspects of their lives once they move forward. A very common thing our students say once they’ve completed the program is they see the world in a different way.”

READ MORE: Six Rupertites awarded Irving K. Barber Aboriginal scholarships

On April 3, University of Victoria announced BMO Financial Group is giving the ACE Program $1 million to expand.

One of the first additions will be the ACE Artists program in Victoria, which will be launched within the month. Expansions are in the works for northern B.C., such as in Bella Bella, and across Canada.

Stephens said there will be a strong focus on the north, specifically, “because that’s where the program started and where we’ve been the strongest.”

Dreamed up by Frank Parnell, the CEO of the Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP), the program is designed to bring university-level education to the north with professors from the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business.

Business plan writing coaches and mentors from the north, Stephens said, offer vital local knowledge of what it takes to run a successful business in the north.

Stephens will soon begin recruiting for the next session of the program, starting mid-May in Prince Rupert. Interested people can apply at www.iamace.ca.

READ MORE: Indigenous stewards of the land, river and sea



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

An unexpected sight south of Burns Lake

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Area restrictions rescinded in northwest B.C.

The orders will be rescinded Sept. 19 at noon

Verdun Mountain and Nadina Lake fires 100 per cent contained

Area restriction orders in effect for several fires

Vigil for Jessica Patrick

VIDEOS: Hundreds honour a young mother who lost her life. Jessica Patrick was 18.

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read