This survey is designed for Indigenous owned businesses and entrepreneurs

The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is a political-territorial organization representing all 203 First Nations in British Columbia with a mandate to:
  • Advance the rights and interests of First Nations people in British Columbia;
  • Restore and enhance the relationship among First Nations people in British Columbia, the Crown, and the people of Canada;
  • Develop and promote policies and resources for the benefit of First Nations people in British Columbia including, but not limited to, economic, social, education, health, and cultural matters; and,
  • Work in coalition with other organizations that advance the rights and interests of Indigenous People.
To this end, the Sustainable Economic Development and Fiscal Relations Strategy is a multi-year initiative undertaken by the BCAFN to support Indigenous communities in British Columbia in their economic pursuits by delivering timely and relevant information, building capacity through education, and creating windows of business and economic opportunity through ongoing advocacy.

As part of the Sustainable Economic Development and Fiscal Relations Strategy, and building on the Governance Toolkit – A Guide to Nation Building, undertaken by former Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould, the BCAFN is developing an Economic Development Toolkit, or “Black Books”. The Black Books will provide information and tools for Indigenous communities, governments, and entrepreneurs to grow a First Nations economy in their communities.

The objective of this survey is to gather relevant input from those who are working on-the-ground in Indigenous communities to be integrated into the Black Books. Gathering this information will ensure that the Toolkit is relevant, contemporary and useful.

Your Answers: Please enter an answer for each row of the survey. If you feel more explanation is needed the 'other' section of each question is available for written answers. The answers provided on the scale are weighted as:

Not at all (0 points)
Maybe, but not sure (1 point)
Yes, somewhat agree (2 points)
Definitively agree (3 points)

Please Note: that the data collected will be kept anonymous and confidential unless express permission is given by the survey participant to use information with proper attribution (see last 2 questions of survey).  If permission is granted, information from individuals will not be attributed as coming 'on behalf of' a Nation but may identify the individual as belonging to or working for a Nation.

* 1. map

Which BC Economic Development Region does your Nation fall under?

* 2. Is your Nation in a rural or urban setting? Or both?

* 3. Which First Nation are you a part of?

* 4. Why are you in business, or planning to go into business?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Create a job for myself
Create jobs for others within my community
Be more financially self-sufficient
Independence, ability to chart my own future, pick my own hours
As an alternative to employment
Payback to the community, create economic benefits for the community
Earning a good profit is important
Had an idea or vision for a business and acted (acting) on it
Motivated by others in the community who are already in business
Entrepreneurial training and mentoring helped me realize my business goals
Motivated by community champions
Idea / opportunity presented by a friend or family
Idea / opportunity presented by the community Economic Development office

* 5. What is your level of business knowledge / know-how /capacity?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Can research a business idea and determine if it makes sense
Know about government funding programs, how to access them, and who the contacts are
Know about the Aboriginal Capital Corporations (NEDC, TACC, TRICORP, All Nations Trust, etc.) who deliver funding programs including Aboriginal Business Canada, First Citizens Fund, etc.
Have had entrepreneurship training
Have had experience with Community Futures, either for training or funding
Have experience dealing with Chartered Banks and Credit Unions
Have management training and / or experience
Able to create financial forecasts and budgets
Have run, or I am now running a business

* 6. What do you think are the greatest areas of business opportunity?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Oil & Gas
Aquaculture (clams, oysters, geoducks, salmon, kelp, etc.)
Value added seafood (such as smoked salmon)
Foods, value added products
Value added forestry (such as furniture or log homes)
Eco or green technology, power, run of the river projects

* 7. When you need assistance on anything related to business, where do you go to get help?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Community Economic Development Office or Manager
Other businesses in your community
General entrepreneurial resource internet websites
Aboriginal business resource websites including organizations that support Indigenous businesses
Social media / blogs
Handbooks and publications
Friends and family

* 8. The results of this survey process will help in the design of an Economic Development Toolkit to help Indigenous enterprises reach their business goals. In your opinion, what information and ‘how to’ strategies and advice should be included in the Toolkit?

* 9. How should the Economic Development Toolkit best be made available to you so that it will be most useful?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Social media
Hard copy publications and workbooks
Through entrepreneurial training workshops and mentoring
Via Skype or other live workshops
Video library available through YouTube or Vimeo

* 10. Where do you get the most support?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Chief and Council
First Nation Economic Development Corporation
Economic Development Manager (First Nation administration)

* 11. What do you think are the biggest roadblocks for Indigenous entrepreneurs starting or running a business?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Lack of available skilled labour
Understanding tax implications
Lack of business skills
Insufficient funding to start and / or run a business
Legal issues such as contracts, proposals, reporting, etc.
Technical issues – computer skills, social media and web skills, and specialty software programs such as Excel or others that help run a business
Business planning for the future, including budgeting, cash flow management
Lack of Indigenous entrepreneurship training and mentoring
Approval by Chief and Council
Lack of land or infrastructure (power, roads, etc.)
Lack of natural resources (timber, fisheries, seafood, minerals etc.)

* 12. With business funding being an important concern for Indigenous enterprises, and possibly based on your own experience, what are the best AND most receptive funding avenues?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Aboriginal funding programs such as Aboriginal Business Canada's Business Equity Program, First Citizens Fund, Ministry of Aboriginal Reconciliation, etc.
Aboriginal Capital Corporations (NEDC, TACC, TRICORP, All Nations Trust, etc.)
Community-run microloans fund
Chartered Banks
Credit Unions
Friends and family
Personal funds
Specialty Lending groups (such as Futurepreneurs or Victoria Community Microloans)

* 13. There is a “soft side” of business that can impact Indigenous entrepreneurs. How do you rate these?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Impact on family, i e. less family time
Community acceptance and support
The financial and / or personal risks that business can represent
Confidence and believing in yourself and your abilities
Income insecurity, especially during start up or off-season times
Setting goals and targets for yourself and your business
Dealing with conflicts / conflict resolution
Coping with change, and the pressures that can cause – changing markets, client issues, competition, etc.

* 14. Have you ever owned, or currently own a business, or are you a business manager? If you answer yes, please answer one of the two questions below.

* 15. Was it (or is it) successful? What are the five main reasons for its success?

* 16. Was it not (or is not) successful, what are the five main reasons for its lack of success?

* 17. Will you provide permission for you answers to be shared, with proper attribution, to BCAFN, If yes, please see question 18.  If no, your answers will be kept confidential.