First Nations Business Development Program Ready For New Year

  • December 20, 2010

A $3 million loan program for First Nation businesses that will create both investment and job opportunities will be up and running in early 2011.

The First Nations Business Development Program is a three-year program that was announced in the March budget. Businesses that are 51 per cent owned by First Nations organizations will be able to apply for loans from $100,000 to $750,000 that can be repaid with future business profits.

"We’ve taken the time to consult with First Nations Leaders, as well as the Ministry of First Nations and Métis Relations, to ensure the program is flexible and meets the needs of the First Nations community," Crown Investments Corporation Minister Tim McMillan said. "We’re confident that the program will help to make key business opportunities more accessible."

Crown Investment Corporation will operate the program and it will be managed by Westcap Management Ltd., a Saskatoon-based fund manager. Westcap also delivers the Business Ready Investment Development Gateway or BRIDG initiative, which provides funding and training to Aboriginal communities in the province to help make them business ready.

"This fund is an excellent way to promote economic development for First Nations people," First Nations and Métis Relations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said. "All of Saskatchewan will benefit from the increased business opportunities provided by the fund. We are pleased to work with First Nations to foster continued economic growth."

Details of the program are currently being finalized and more information will be available in January.

For more information, contact:

Debbie Clark
Crown Investments Corporation
Phone: 306-787-5451

Bonny Braden
First Nations and Métis Relations
Phone: 306-787-5701