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

  • The business must be based in British Columbia;
  • Sole proprietors of small and large businesses are eligible;
  • Businesses must be at least 51% Indigenous owned and operated (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.

Dates to Remember

  • June 1, 2021 – Nominations OPEN
  • July 14, 2021 – Nominations CLOSE
  • October 2021 - Awardees ANNOUNCED

Nominations must be submitted online by July 14, 2021 (all materials must be received by 11:59 pm).

Supporting Organizations

Complete the online Nomination Form insuring you provide:

  • Information about the business and its experiences in the current COVID-19 environment.
  • Your story of resilience.
  • description of the business’s activities & ownership structure; number of employees; number of years in operation; successes; challenges; and benefits.
  • In the Indigenous-Industry partnership category, a description of the Indigenous partner's role is required.
  • 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”. 

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.


Top Notch Oilfield Contracting
2019 Awardee

Nominations Open:
June 1, 2021
Nominations Close:
July 14, 2021

Awardees Announced:
October 2021

Honouring excellence and inspiring achievement in Indigenous business and entrepreneurship throughout the province

Serving as a catalyst for change and opportunity, the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program aims to cultivate innovation while leveraging mutual interests. Creating an authentic space where collaborative and strategic partnerships can thrive togetherawardee recognition gives voice to Indigenous entrepreneurship while modelling success. 

Congratulations to the 2020 Awardees! Click here to read the press release.

BC Achievement is pleased to recognize the awardees of the 2020 IBA program through the #shinethelightbc campaign showcasing their outstanding business achievement and innovation. While their stories are unique, they all share the same remarkable spirit of entrepreneurship and resilience as they strive towards excellence.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

I am inspired by the entire volume of Indigenous entrepreneurs that have come through this program. To see the increasing force of Indigenous business and how we are connecting to our families and communities and to our future in new ways through business – that inspires me and that is Indigenomics.

Carol Anne Hilton, 2020 IBA Award of Distinction
2020 Indigenous Business Award

2020 Photo Gallery

With thanks to our partners

BC Government


Program Sponsors

Category Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Media Sponsors