The province has launched the $25-million Aboriginal Economic Development Fund, which will fund business, employment and training opportunities for First Nation, Métis and Inuit businesses.
A three-year initiative, the fund has the following goals:
-Help Aboriginal communities develop long-term strategies to diversify their economies.
-Improve community capacity for economic development.
-Provide access to financing to start and expand Aboriginal businesses.
-Enable communities to collaborate on region-wide employment and skills training projects.
The AEDF was introduced in the 2014 Budget as part of Ontario's Jobs and Prosperity Fund and is a part of Ontario's Treaty Strategy.
There are more than 9,000 entrepreneurs in Ontario who identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit. Applications are now open for Aboriginal communities and organizations looking to develop economic plans focused on new and emerging sectors, as well as fund feasibility studies to implement economic diversification strategies.