The Indigenous economy is worth $30 billion and climbing. Why aren’t investors getting more involved?

Why It Matters

Indigenous women entrepreneurs are opening businesses at twice the rate of non-Indigenous women. As Canada looks to rebuild its economy, it’s more important than ever to back Indigenous entrepreneurs — but despite this, there're still significant barriers to funding, including to the $755 million Social Finance Fund.

This story is in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). 

For Judy Hughes, senior director of business and economic development at The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), backing Indigenous women entrepreneurs represents a massive, and growing, opportunity. Not only is the Indigenous economy currently worth $30 billion — even during the pandemic, the number of Indigenous entrepreneurs has been increasing at five times the rate of self-employed Canadians. Of these entrepreneurs, Indigenous women are leading the way, starting business at


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