Updated: May 16
In February 2021, Kaapittiaq was invited as one of nine national businesses to attend a round table discussion on Social Finance strategy with the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Kaapittiaq was specifically selected due to it being a recipient of federal Government's Investment Readiness Program (IRP) funding in 2020. The meeting was hosted by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network to show first-hand impacts of existing social finance funding, and explore how a national social finance strategy can create jobs and build strong economies in a way that promotes inclusivity and resilience.
Our 30 minute presentation sought to use our experience as a northern Indigenous social enterprise to lobby for greater accessibility for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs. We focused on three key points in presenting this argument:
1) Indigenous social finance initiatives need to be administered by Indigenous peoples with lived experience of Indigenous communities.
2) Small investments to community-based organizations can result in big impacts at the community level through local hiring, strengthening of capacity for entrepreneurship, and the building of supportive networks between other local businesses.
3) Local businesses know best regarding where financial support is needed to strengthen their companies. Social Finance funding should allow for a high level of flexibility in allowing these groups to prioritize where the money is spent.