The Indigenous Business Award (IBA) honours excellence while focusing on the success of Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs. The program offers awardees and their supporters an authentic space to showcase their achievements, build bridges between BC’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous economies, and celebrate success, diversity and inclusion.

Advisory Panel

  • Brenda Baptiste – Chair, Indigenous Tourism BC
  • Jacob Beaton – Consultant, 2009 Awardee
  • Cassidy Caron – Minister Responsible for Youth, Métis Nation BC
  • Greg D’Avignon – President & CEO, Business Council of BC
  • Louis De Jaeger, MBA – Entrepreneur, 2011 Awardee
  • Paulette Flamond – Executive Director, Northeast Aboriginal Business & Wellness Centre, 2019 Award of Distinction
  • Peter Lantin – Consultant
  • Ken Tourand, BBA, MA – President & CEO, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
  • Jeff Ward – CEO Animikii Indigenous Technology, 2010 & 2019 Awardee
  • Laara Yaghujaanas, MA – Consultant, Carden Consulting


Individuals and businesses may enter in ONE category only.

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Business of the Year
  • Community Business of the Year
  • Business Partnership of the Year

Why Nominate / Apply

The Indigenous Business Award serves:

  • To identify and recognize successful Indigenous businesses;
  • To honour and celebrate Indigenous business achievements;
  • To support and sustain Indigenous entrepreneurship.

Who is Eligible

  • Sole proprietors of small and large businesses are eligible;
  • All nominees must be Indigenous (First Nations, Métis or Inuit);
  • The business must have been in operation for a minimum of two years;
  • Government agencies and institutions are not eligible;
  • Previous awardees must wait five years before reapplying, unless the nature of the business has significantly changed.

Selection of Awardees

An independent jury panel representing Indigenous business expertise throughout British Columbia evaluates nominations based on the documentation provided. The jury selects a first place Recipient and up to two second place Outstanding Business Achievers in each category. The decision of the independent jury is final.

Recognition of Awardees

Awardees are honoured mid-October in Vancouver.

Dates to Remember

  • June 15, 2020 – Nominations OPEN
  • July 26, 2020 – Nominations CLOSE

Supporting Organizations

Complete the online Nomination Form and include: 

  • Your individual story of resilience. 
  • description of the business’s activities & ownership structure; number of employees; number of years in operation; successeschallenges; benefits.
  • For Indigenous-Industry partnerships, please outline fully the role of the Indigenous partner.
  • Contact information (name, email, phone number) of two references for follow up by the IBA program.
  • Up to a maximum of three additional documents (i.e. testimonials, certificates, media coverage and/or career resume). 

 Visit Resources to download the guide for the IBA program, “How to Write a Compelling Nomination”. 

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 IBA program.

Please note:

  • All nominations are valid for three years including the first year of nomination and two subsequent years and can be updated annually throughout the process.
  • Nominations are kept confidential between the nominator and BC Achievement.

1. What is the definition of a business?
A business is defined as an occupation or trade and the purchase and sale of products or services to make a profit. In a business, people work to make and sell products or services; other people buy the products and services.

2. What is the definition of a business partnership?
A business partnership is an entity formed between two or more parties to undertake economic activity together. The parties agree to create a new entity by contributing equity, and they then share in the revenues, expenses and control of the enterprise.

3. Does a certain percentage of a business have to be Indigenous-owned?
Yes, community-owned businesses must be 100% owned by the community. Other businesses must be at least 51% Indigenous-owned and operated. Business partnerships in which the second partner is non-Indigenous must be at least 50% Indigenous-owned.

4. If I am 35 years old, can I enter the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award category?
Nominees must be 35 years of age or under by the nomination deadline. However, youth are free to apply to any other business category as long as the business has been operational for a minimum of two years.

5. Can information be saved on the online nomination form and completed at a later date?
Yes, it can.

6. Should occasional, part-time and full-time employees be counted separately?
Please identify full or part-time permanent staff only. If there are instances that the business increases the number of employees for short periods of time this can be included in the description of your business activities but should not be included in total employee numbers.

7. If a business is 100% owned by the community, can it be nominated under the Business of the Year Category?
No, it cannot. A wholly-owned community enterprise must be nominated under the Community-Owned Business Category.

8. Is a nomination package considered for more than one year?
Yes. Submitted nomination packages begin a three-year program, during which time the information can be reviewed by up to three juries. Nominators are given the opportunity to update their nomination each year prior to review by the independent jury panel.

9. Does the business have to be registered?
No, but the business must provide goods and/or services to consumers.

10. When are awardees notified and where are the names published?
Awardees are notified late August. Their names are published on BC Achievement’s website and social media channels.

BC Achievement has many opportunities for engagement and we are actively seeking partnerships.

Please contact the Executive Director for further information.
[email protected]

2020 Sponsorship Information


AWARD 2019

Nominations Open:
June 15, 2020
Awardees Announced:
September 2020

Awardees Honoured:
October 2020

Awardees of the eleventh annual BC Indigenous Business Award (IBA) were celebrated at a Gala Dinner ceremony on October 17, 2019 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver where over 650 people gathered to honour excellence and “cultivate innovation in Indigenous business in British Columbia.

“The BC Indigenous Business Award recognizes enterprises that create and expand opportunities, relationships and communities, all with the goal of a more prosperous future,” said foundation Chair, Anne Giardini. “BC Achievement is particularly excited to highlight some of the many Indigenous businesses across British Columbia that foster innovation – integrating the practices of the past with the economies of the future.”

The IBA program was launched in 2008 to honour and celebrate business excellence and, in its 11th year, boasts close to 200 remarkable businesses within its alumni. A total of 16 Indigenous businesses, entrepreneurs, partnership entities and community-owned enterprises were honoured at this year’s Gala Dinner, hosted by sister and brother team, Larissa and Wade Grant.

Selection of the awardees was made by members of the 2019 jury panel, which included Kim Baird, Jacob Beaton, Louis de Jaeger and Laurie Sterritt.

These awards are such an important recognition of those people that are contributing, doing such an amazing job, leading by example.

Chief David Jimmie of the Squiala First Nation
2019 Indigenous Business Award

2019 Presentation Ceremony