The Indigenous Business Award (IBA) honours excellence and focuses on the successes 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: this award recognizes success by a young entrepreneur in the operation of an existing business. Entrants must be aged 35 years and under by June 30, 2021, and have been in business for at least two years, and be the sole owner of the business.
Business of the Year: these awards recognize the outstanding achievements of Indigenous entrepreneurs in three sub-categories:
Businesses with 1-2 employees
Businesses with 3-10 employees
Businesses with 11+ employees
*Businesses must be at least 51% Indigenous-owned and operated.
Community-owned Business of the Year: this award acknowledges one or more businesses owned by a community with the intention of building a strong economic foundation for community members. There are two sub-categories for this award:
Community-owned one entity
Community-owned two ore more entities
*Businesses must be 100% owned by the community.
Business Partnership of the Year: this award recognizes a business partnership created by two or more parties.
*Indigenous ownership must be at least 50%.
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 one Recipient, and may select up to two Outstanding Business Achievers, in each category. The decision of the independent jury is final.
Recognition of Awardees
- Recipients in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Business of the Year categories are awarded $2500 each.
- Each IBA awardee receives a Recognition film produced by BC Achievement, and medallion and pin designed by BC First Nations artist Robert Davidson.
Dates to Remember
- June 1, 2021 – Nominations OPEN
- July 10, 2021 – Nominations CLOSE
- October 2021 - Awardees ANNOUNCED
Nominations must be submitted online by JUNE 30, 2021 (all materials must be received by 11:59 pm).
*Deadline has been extended to Saturday, July 10, 2021 (11:59pm)
- Brenda Baptiste, OBC – Chair, Indigenous Tourism BC
- Jacob Beaton – Consultant, 2009 Awardee
- Greg D’Avignon – President & CEO, Business Council of BC
- Shaughn Davoren – Provincial Youth Chair/Minister of Youth, Métis Nation BC
- Louis De Jaeger, MBA – Entrepreneur, 2011 Awardee
- Paulette Flamond – Executive Director, Northeast Aboriginal Business 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
Complete the online Nomination Form insuring you provide:
- A description of the business’ mission, vision, goals, ownership structure, number of employees, number of years in operation; include background information about the nominee &/or business and if the business has an Indigenous employment strategy
- A description of past and present successes
- A description of challenges in the continuing COVID environment; include your story of resilience and recovery. How have Indigenous values been helpful to the current situation? How has it impacted your business plan and financial outlook?
- A description of benefits provided to the community, employees, environment etc.
- A description of the Indigenous partner's role in the Indigenous-Industry partnership, if applicable
- Contact information (name, email, phone number) of two references for follow up by the IBA program
- Optional: attach five supporting documents which may include reference letters, testimonials, certificates, media coverage &/or career resume
Download the IBA Resource, “Tips for Submitting a Compelling Nomination”.
- Incomplete nominations are ineligible for consideration.
- 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.
- All nominees are informed as to whether or not they have been successful with their application.
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 businesses to undertake economic activity together. The businesses 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 in September. Their names are published on BC Achievement’s website and social media channels.