Ottawa program helps train Indigenous entrepreneurs

It’s a mentorship that gets down to business – Indigenous business.

Indigenous entrepreneurs learning from Indigenous mentors in the Indigenous Makers Masterclass Project.

They’ve been meeting online every day for the past two months.

“It definitely helped to provide structure in a foundation for successful entrepreneurship and all the fundamentals that we need to to launch in scale and grow our brand,” said Tracey Lynne Towedo, one of 15 participants in the pilot project.

Sherry Anne Rogers said receiving advice from professional mentors will help her launch her Just Add Feathers business.


And helped boost her confidence.

“I am ready,” she said. “I’m ready to take my brand to the next level. You know, I’ve been waiting for something like this and this is it.”

The program helped Kole Peplinskie focus and find direction for Rustling Pines, which teaches beadwork and offers workshops on LBGTQ issues.

“There’s going to be a lot of change coming up for me,” said Kole, “a lot of figuring out what feels good for me in my communities, and then also what makes the most sense going forward. In making business work and making money.”

The CEO of Indigenous Experiences, Trina Mather-Simard, says her goal is to build the skills of entrepreneurs across Ontario.

She feels it has been a big success.

“They’ve been really exploring all sorts of opportunities they set up,” Mather-Simard said. “We have some that are already working on getting into stores, and we have a couple lucky ones who have been chosen to be part of New York Fashion Week to elevate some outfits with their jewelry.”

Mather-Simard may offer a second class in the new year.


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