The newly-established Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (ABPA) will be hosting its first event in Thunder Bay in June.
The organization is teaming up with Advanced Business Match to stage the ABM Indigenous: Ontario North, a business matchmaking forum, June 10 – 12 at the Valhalla Inn.
ABPA officially launched in March as a vehicle for Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners to increase their regional presence and make inroads into the project supply chain in Northern Ontario.
The aim is to provide an avenue for Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses for First Nation-owned supply and service companies to participate in the procurement process for current or upcoming project work.
“Northern Ontario is rich with business opportunities in mining, energy, transportation infrastructure and the associated supply chains,” said APBA president Jason Rasevych in an April 18 news release.
“All projects are on our First Nations traditional lands. It’s time we stepped into these opportunities more meaningfully to benefit our people and become dynamic players in Ontario’s economy.”
The Thunder Bay event, according to ABPA, offers an opportunity to connect with potential business partners online, followed by 20-minute business-to-business meetings on the trade show floor.
The event is designed to connect businesses and communities with the aim of establishing “respectful and rewarding relationships that lead to mutually beneficial business agreements and arrangements,” according to the release.
“We are thrilled to partner with ABPA to leverage our common goal of contributing to the socio-economic well-being and quality of life of our First Nations peoples,” said Advanced Business Match managing partner Katrin Harry.
“Working with an astute and highly motivated partner like ABPA allows us to maximize the opportunities created on the trade show floor by fully understanding the unique characteristics of business development in Northern Ontario and recruiting the right decision makers for partnerships, investment, and the procurement of goods and services.”
Rasevych encouraged all Indigenous-owned startups to attend and showcase “the economic power of Indigenous people in our region.
“We call on all non-Indigenous businesses that have, or want to have, a synergistic relationship with Indigenous business and community leadership in our territory to register for this event. The common objective is to create viable equitable opportunities for Indigenous business and communities. Together, we can all succeed.”