AWARD PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of Indigenous businesses, entrepreneurs, partnership entities and community-owned enterprises.
WHY NOMINATE OR APPLY
The IBA program serves: to identify and recognize successful Indigenous businesses; to honour and celebrate Indigenous business achievements; and to support and sustain Indigenous entrepreneurship.
DATES TO REMEMBER - 2024 IBA program
- May 1 – Official Call for Nominations begins
- May 31 – Nominations CLOSE
- September - Awardees ANNOUNCED
- October / November - Gala Dinner & Presentation Ceremony
The completed nomination form and all materials must be by submitted by May 31 @ 11:59 p.m. for the nomination to be considered.
Save and Continue Later - If you don’t have all the information on hand, click on the ‘Save and Continue Later’ button at the bottom of the online nomination form – you will be prompted to enter your email and will receive a link that you can access and complete your nomination prior to the deadline.
CHECKLIST - BEFORE YOU START
- Review the IBA Nomination Guide with tips for submitting a compelling nomination
- Ensure the nominator and nominee meet the eligibility criteria
- Prepare the Business Description, Nominator Statement, Community Impact & Ownership Structure statements in a word document, then copy and paste the content into the required field; use bullet points and leave a line between points
- Have all nominator and nominee contact information
- Have all documents ready to upload
- Schedule 15-20 minutes to complete the form
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. Nominees must be aged 35 years and under by May 31, 2024, have been in business for at least two years, and the business must be at least 51% Indigenous-owned and operated (First Nations, Métis or Inuit).
Business of the Year (the business must be at least 51% Indigenous-owned and operated): 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
Community-Owned Business of the Year (businesses must be 100% owned by the community): 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 more entities
Business Partnership of the Year (Indigenous ownership must be at least 50%): this award recognizes a business partnership created by two or more parties.
Award of Distinction: the Award of Distinction for lifetime achievement is presented to a person who, over his or her career, has made a significant difference in the Indigenous business community through his or her entrepreneurial endeavours and, in doing so, serves as a leader, role model, mentor and inspiration. The individual may be an innovator in his or her business activities, a successful entrepreneur, or an individual who has been instrumental in supporting or creating Indigenous business activities in the province.
Any person, group or organization may submit nominations for the award with exceptions noted below:
- Current members of the jury panel, or members of the jury panel’s immediate family may not submit a nomination
- BC Achievement board members may not submit a nomination
- Family members (e.g., parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins) may not submit a nomination
An eligible nominee must be a business that:
- Is at least 51% Indigenous owned and operated (First Nations, Métis or Inuit)
- Is based in British Columbia
- Has been in operation for a minimum of two years
A business may self-nominate (i.e., apply for the IBA program).
The following are ineligible to receive the Award:
- Government agencies and institutions
- Businesses operated or owned by BC Achievement board members
- Businesses operated or owned by a member of the jury panel
- Posthumous nominations
- Recent past award recipients*
*Past award recipients must wait five years before reapplying unless the nature of the business has significantly changed.
*Visit BC Achievement’s Awardees webpage to see if your nominee is a past recipient of the award.
SELECTION OF AWARDEES
An independent jury panel representing Indigenous business expertise throughout BC evaluates nominations based on the documentation provided. They jury selects one recipient in each category. The decision of the jury is final. Nominees are notified only if selected for an award. Nominators are informed as to whether or not they have been successful with their application.
Award recipients are selected based on the nomination material submitted by the nominator and the criteria of:
- Community Impact
IBA recipients receive a cash prize bursary and are featured in a recognition film produced by BC Achievement. In addition, they receive a medallion and lapel pin designed by renowned artist Robert Davidson, OC, OBC, along with a commemorative plaque certificate and letter from the Premier recognizing their achievements.
Recipients are granted use of the Indigenous Business Award seal to signify their entrepreneurial excellence.
A gala dinner is held to celebrate the achievements of the awardees in Vancouver.
- Brenda Baptiste, OBC – Chair, Indigenous Tourism BC
- Jacob Beaton – Founder, Tea Creek Enterprises, 2009 Awardee
- Louis De Jaeger, MBA – Minister of Economic Dev. & Natural Resources, Métis Nation BC, 2011 Awardee
- Paulette Flamond – Executive Director, Northeast Aboriginal Business Centre, 2019 Award of Distinction
- Denise Halfyard – Aboriginal Buzz, 2011 Awardee
- 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
HOW TO NOMINATE / APPLY
Click here to download the IBA Nomination Guide for additional information and tips on submitting a compelling nomination.
The nominator must complete the online Nomination form and include the following:
- Nominator name & contact information (if applicable)
- Nominee name & contact information
- Nominee Category
- Nominee Indigenous Identity Statement
- Nominator Statement (max. 3000 characters incl. space or approx. 500 words)
- Ownership Structure Statement
- Community Impact Statement
- Number of full- &/or part-time permanent employees (Indigenous and non-Indigenous)
- For Indigenous-Industry Partnerships ONLY, outline fully the role of the Indigenous partner
- Financials (download the template here) - new for 2024 IBA
- Support Letter (written by someone other than the nominator)
- Additional Materials* (optional, but strongly recommended, up to a max. of 5)
- Include materials such as the nominee’s biography, other letters of support, links* to articles, recorded testimonials, YouTube videos, photos, website links, etc.
- A maximum of five items will be accepted
- Jury members will review up to 10 pages total and five minutes of video
*Each link submitted is considered one additional material.
UPDATING A NOMINATION
To update a nomination:
- Click on the link for the nomination form
- Select ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this an update to a previous nomination?’
- Include the year the nomination was first submitted
- Complete the online nomination form and include updated information & materials about your nominee
Nominations are valid for three years including the first year of nomination and two subsequent years.
Nominators are strongly encouraged to update their nomination for consideration by the following year's jury panel if their nominee was not recognized in the previous year’s awardee cohort.
We are happy to send the documents previously submitted for your nominee. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your request.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Can information be saved on the nomination form and completed at a later date?
Yes. If you don't have all the information on hand, click on the 'Save and Continue Later' button at the bottom of the online nomination form - you will be prompted to enter your email and will receive a link that you can access and complete your nomination prior to the deadline.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. If I am 35 years old, can I enter the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award category?
Nominees must be 35 years of age or under by the nomination deadline to be eligible for the Young Entrepreneur category. Entrepreneurs are free to apply to any other business category as long as the business has been operational for a minimum of two years - but they cannot submit a nomination for both the Young Entrepreneur category and Business of the Year category. Nominees can only be nominated for ONE category.
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 considered for more than one year?
Yes. Submitted nominations 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.
AWARD OF DISTINCTION
The Award of Distinction for lifetime achievement (formerly the Individual Achievement Award) is presented to a person who, over his or her career, has made a significant difference in the Indigenous business community through his or her entrepreneurial endeavours and, in doing so, serves as a leader, role model, mentor and inspiration. The individual may be an innovator in his or her business activities, a successful entrepreneur, or an individual who has been instrumental in supporting or creating Indigenous business activities in the province.
Past recipients are:
- 2023 Teara Fraser
- 2022 Chief David Jimmie
- 2021 Ken Cameron
- 2020 Carol Anne Hilton
- 2019 Paulette Flamond
- 2018 Chief Gordon Planes
- 2017 Chief Gibby Jacob
- 2016 Robert Louie
- 2015 James Walkus
- 2014 Councillor Garry Feschuk
- 2013 Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre and Ruth Williams
- 2012 Chief Councillor Garry Reece
- 2011 Chief Clarence Louie
- 2010 Dolly (Watts) McRae and John Harper
- 2009 Dorothy Grant and Angelique Merasty Levac