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.


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 at the IBA - Gala Dinner and Presentation Ceremony held mid-October in Vancouver.

Dates to Remember:

  • June 1, 2020 – Nominations OPEN
  • June 30, 2020 – Nominations CLOSE

 Nominations must be submitted online by June 30, 2020 (all materials must be received by 11:59 pm).

Complete the online Nomination Form and include:

  • A description of the business’s activities & ownership structure; number of employees (Indigenous and non-Indigenous); number of years in operation; successes (describe business achievements); challenges (describe difficulties faced and overcome); benefits (offered to employees, community and the environment)
  • Financial information for the last two years, signed by an accountant, auditor or CFO detailing total revenue, expenses and net profit (click here to download form)
  • For Indigenous-Industry partnerships, please outline fully the role of the Indigenous partner
  • Two Reference Letters from individuals who can describe the impact and value of the business
  • 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”

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.

2019 Awardees

- Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine
- Imagination FX
- T’ashii Paddle School
- Animikii Indigenous Technology
- Quaaout Lodge & Spa at Talking Rock Golf Course
- Simpcw Resources Group of Companies
- Salish Seaside RV Haven
- Paulette Flamond

2019 Outstanding Business Achievers

- Persistence Training Centre
- Tseax Development Group Ltd.
- Nechako Valley Animal Health
- Rivermist Excavating Ltd.
- Top Notch Oilfield Contracting Ltd.
- Mustimuhw Information Solutions Inc
- Coast Salish Group
- Lower Nicola Site Services

2018 Awardees

- Skywest Environmental Inc.
- Ay Lelum-The Good House of Design
- Reciprocal Consulting
- Mussell Crane Manufacturing
- Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land) LLP
- Kanaka Bar Land and Resource LP
- Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership
- Chief Gordon Planes - Hya-Quatcha

2018 Outstanding Business Achievers

- Van - Isle Auto Brokers
- Second Pass Forestry Ltd.
- Haida Style Expeditions
- Kootenay Waste Services Ltd.
- Kikinaw Energy Services Ltd.
- Painted Rock Aggregates & Contracting LLP
- Quilakwa Investments
- Cariboo Aboriginal Forestry Enterprises Ltd.

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

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


Award Gala Dinner
Thursday, October 17, 2019 

2019 Indigenous Business Award

The Program

The Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program serves as a catalyst to recognize those businesses that are generating economic development opportunities, creating partnerships with industry, and shaping communities to build a prosperous economic future for all in this province.

The IBA program is presented by BC Achievement in partnership with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and generously supported by dedicated sponsors.

Supporting Organizations

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 – Entrepreneur, 2011 Awardee
  • Paulette Flamond – Executive Director, Northeast Aboriginal Business & Wellness Centre
  • Peter Lantin – Haida Nation
  • Ken Tourand – President & CEO, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
  • Jeff Ward – CEO Animikii Indigenous Technology 2010 Awardee
  • Laara Yaghujaanas – Consultant, Carden Consulting