Photo: 2021 Awardee, Steven Stark, Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc.
While the past two years have been tough for all BC businesses with COVID shifting the economic landscape, Indigenous businesses throughout the province have demonstrated their respective resilience in remarkable ways. Indigenous businesses help generate cultural resurgence and build significant socio-economic opportunities across the province, and it’s important to recognize their efforts and strengths. The IBA program provides a platform for these successes while modelling best practices.
For the past 13 years, the IBA program has represented Indigenous entrepreneurship from throughout the province, honouring and sharing the impact of over 200 businesses recognized for their excellence. Starting June 1, nominations will open for the 2022 Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program, marking its 14th annual presentation. Here are five reasons to nominate, from IBA’s most recent alumni.
Five Reasons to Nominate for the Indigenous Business Award
ONE: Instilling a sense of pride
I feel it is very important to acknowledge excellence in Indigenous business entrepreneurship because with positive encouragement it inspires and motivates people to want to strive to do a good job, they feel pride in what they are doing which in turn builds strength in oneself to take their visions and grow to see where it will take you.
Sandra Malone, Thunderbird RV Park & Cottage Resort, 2021 Alumni
TWO: Creating possibilities
People like me are making a difference and encouraging other companies to make space for growth. I know for myself I have proven that anything is possible, knowing what it’s like to live on the streets and be affected by trauma, to begin rising up spiritually and create opportunities out of nothing; so winning this award for our people shows anyone can do it.
Steven Stark, Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc., 2021 Alumni
THREE: Inspiring entrepreneurship
The light you shine on this business and others is an important beacon for other Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to begin their journey of a lifetime.
Bob Joseph, Indigenous Corporate Training, 2021 Alumni
FOUR: Benefits to local communities and the province
When we raise each other up, everyone benefits. Business is an opportunity for everyone to provide value to the community in the way that they know best. The more we can encourage entrepreneurship, the bigger benefit to everyone in our local communities, province and country.
Keenan Beavis, Longhouse Media, 2020 Alumni
FIVE: Representation matters
It is crucial to acknowledge excellence, and increase Indigenous representation, in the business and entrepreneurship space. Representation matters. The more Indigenous businesses that are successful, the more inspiration there will be for up-and-coming Indigenous entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial path. The more stories of resilience, strength and innovation that are shared from Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs the more we as a society shift the narratives of trauma and deficit that are often at the forefront of news stories amid ongoing anti-Indigenous racism that exists in our country.
Leigh Joseph, Skwalwen Botanticals, 2020 Alumni
BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.