How Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Is Empowering Canadian Indigenous Entrepreneurs

How Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Is Empowering Canadian Indigenous Entrepreneurs

An in-depth study, conducted for the first time in a decade by Environics, found that the number of Aboriginal small business owners across Canada is growing and is seeing widespread success not only in profitability and growth but in other areas beyond profitability, thanks to CCAB (Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business) for bringing this massive change. 

The number of indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners is growing five times as many as all the self-employed Canadians. Based on CCAB’s research, labeled ‘Promise and Prosperity: The Aboriginal Business Survey’, indigenous businesses are diverse and not confined to one industry, region, or market. CCAB embarked upon the Aboriginal Business Survey (ABS) in 2011 to help bridge this knowledge and help understand the challenges and opportunities faced by indigenous entrepreneurs. This report is a timely study based on several telephone interviews with 1,095 indigenous, Métis, and Inuit small business owners (with 100 employees or less) – of their strategies and goals, and the prime factors that steer them to their growth.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The number of indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners is growing at a faster pace exceeding that of self-employed Canadians in general.
  • Indigenous small business owners are performing well not only in terms of growth and profitability but also in terms of revenue.
  • Successful indigenous small businesses are highly respected for their use of yearly business plans and innovation.
  • Indigenous entrepreneurs are creating jobs for both indigenous and non-indigenous people.
  • Despite the challenges of owning a small business, many are confident about the future.

CCAB is strategically positioned to foster positive and sustainable relationships between the business sector and the Indigenous business community. As the only national organization dedicated to Indigenous business, the reality of doing business in Canada is an environment conducive to CCAB’s pursuit of success.

A Brief on Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses (CCAB)

Founded in 1984, CCAB or the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses is a national member-based non-partisan organization, providing programs that foster indigenous business development, build relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous businesses, and provide uninterrupted education for indigenous entrepreneurs and other Canadian business leaders. These efforts recognize the importance of indigenous businesses and communities to Canada’s future.

A Few Lines about the CEO of CCAB

Jean Paul Gladu is currently the CEO and President of the Toronto-based Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Mr. Gladu has over 20 years of experience in the field of natural resources. His career includes working with indigenous communities and organizations, industry and governments, and environmental and non-government organizations throughout Canada. 

He has produced several publications based on aboriginal issues like Native values collection, forest certification, First Nation community land use plans, biofuel opportunities, indicators and criteria for sustainable forestry, and also cedar product development.

With a passion for his community, culture, and traditions, Mr. Gladu contributes to the past, present, and future by driving Canadian and indigenous entrepreneurs towards shared economic prosperity and sustainable partnerships.

Being a seasoned negotiator, JP Gladu has led several projects based on business development in northern Ontario. JP received his diploma degree in forestry technician in 1993 and also obtained a bachelor’s degree in forestry in the year 2000 from Northern Arizona University. Apart from that, he holds an Executive MBA from Queen’s University.

About CCAB Research

CCAB research is impact-oriented. It develops policies and programs for Provincial and Federal governments, as well as Canadian businesses to assist indigenous companies and communities. By identifying how Indigenous businesses can participate in the supply chain, they help establish direct connections through developing customized business listings of relevant aboriginal businesses or via networking events. Their research helps to unleash the potential and forge meaningful bonds with the organization’s indigenous entrepreneurs, people, and communities.

CCAB puts forward tailored research projects for individual needs. At present, CCAB research projects report on the size and scope of the aboriginal economy in relation to:

  • Indigenous business procurement
  • Indigenous trade and export
  • Indigenous engagement in technology and innovation for shaping the future
  • Community economic development
  • Various other issues related to region and sectors

About CCAB Programs

CCAB puts the indigenous business at the forefront to strengthen indigenous communities, foster prosperous and progressive bonds, and develop a new economy built on shared prosperity and mutual respect.

CCAB provides a variety of business development offerings like:

  • Tools and Financing for Aboriginal Business (TFAB)

CCAB’s latest program TFAB connects indigenous entrepreneurs with training and networks, tools via an online platform to empower and grow their business. To learn more about their TFAB program, you can visit

  • Progressive Aboriginal Relations

PAR is a certification program that validates corporate performance in indigenous relations at the Bronze, Silver, or Gold level. Certified companies elevate their level with the PAR logo indicating to communities that they are:

  • Great business partners
  • Amazing places to work 
  • Dedicated to the prosperity of indigenous communities 

The PAR certification program provides a high level of trust to the community because assignments are verified through independent third-party verification of company records. The final level of the company is decided by a jury of Native American entrepreneurs. 

Since its inception in 2001, PAR has remained the premier corporate social responsibility program focused on Indigenous relations.

  • Procurement

For generations, Indigenous people have provided goods and resources to help Canada grow. This tradition continues even today, with more than 50,000 Aboriginal businesses set up to help Canada compete and win. Today, the aboriginal business is booming. 

However, for a variety of reasons, indigenous businesses are underrepresented in the supply chains of most Canadian businesses and governments. This is why CCAB is finding ways to bolster and establish strong connections between government and indigenous businesses, also corporate Canada from coast to coast. 

Thus, came up with this Procurement program as an economic reconciliation, bent on building a bright future for everyone.

Upcoming CCAB Events

Every year, CCAB hosts a number of events across the country. CCAB takes pride in organizing memorable events that motivate and inspire. Their events provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with peers, indigenous entrepreneurs, and share ideas. 

CCAB is going to host a number of hybrid events in cities like Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, and Vancouver. They request attendees to join online or in person to share real-world business experiences and discover solutions to such problems faced during these unprecedented times.

  • February 24, 2022 – Central Canada Business Forum, Toronto
  • April 28, 2022 – East Coast Business Forum, Halifax
  • June 16, 2022 – Indigenous Women in Leadership, Calgary
  • October 6, 2022 – West Coast Business Forum, Vancouver
CCAB Membership

CCAB is a national member-based and non-partisan organization. Their membership includes aboriginal as well as non-aboriginal companies currently operating in Canada. 

If you wish to become a member, you can take advantage of a wide array of opportunities and benefits. Join CCAB to help them build relationships for a thriving aboriginal economy and a better future for the Canadians. 

Becoming a member of CCAB will include access to:

  • Listing member profile on CCAB website
  • Assurance and certification programs like the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) programs and Certified Aboriginal Business (CAB) designation
  • Special ticket prices for CCAB events
  • Participation in research projects and roundtables of CCAB
  • Special service discounts

Click on to know the CCAB rate chart (annual) and membership categories:×777.jpg 

If you have any such queries related to CCAB membership, you can write them at: [email protected] 

CCAB Indigenous Business Directory

The National Indigenous Business Directory contains a complete service listing of CCAB Aboriginal Business Members (ABM), PSAB registrants, CCAB Certified Aboriginal Businesses (CAB), and other publicly registered Aboriginal-owned businesses throughout Canada.

The National Indigenous Business Directory serves to raise awareness and visibility of Indigenous businesses across Canada, promote the various services and opportunities that exist in the Indigenous business space, and in turn promote supply chain opportunities.

Scroll through their business directory to learn more.

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