Five years ago, nearly half of Indigenous business owners surveyed said they experienced systemic barriers when dealing with their non-Indigenous business relationships, while only 21 per cent say they do now.
B.C. Indigenous business owners say
their business conditions are improving
Barriers to success include: Inadequate infrastructure, rising business costs, red tape and employee retention
Although Indigenous business owners in B.C. continue to encounter barriers to success, many say conditions are improving, according to a Vancity report recently.
For the 2018 B.C. Aboriginal Business Survey, 53 Indigenous owners in B.C. were asked questions to do with Reconciliation efforts.
The report found that nearly half (48 per cent) of Indigenous business owners surveyed said they experienced systemic barriers five years ago when dealing with their non-Indigenous business relationships, while only 21 per cent say they do now.
Sixty-four per cent said they have experienced positive change, while nine per cent said they had not.
The survey, which was done with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, also found that economic conditions, inadequate infrastructure, rising business costs, government red tape and employee retention were the most cited barriers to success.
90 per cent of operations listed as successful
Vancity says more than 90 per cent of Indigenous business owners surveyed say their operations have been successful to date, with more than half (58 per cent) saying they have been “extremely” or “very” successful.
The report makes several recommendations for improved relations with Indigenous business owners, including that governments remove barriers that deny First Nations the use of their lands and resources, and help provide affordable internet service to Indigenous communities.
It also recommends companies learn about programs to support Indigenous-led businesses and that financial institutions should offer products directly to Indigenous populations.
The report also recommends people look to Indigenous-led enterprises and support them with their patronage.
B.C. has the second largest number of self-employed Indigenous workers in Canada, after Ontario, with 21 per cent of the national total.
The number of Indigenous tourism-related businesses in B.C. increased 33 per cent between 2014 and 2016, according to Tourism B.C.
The survey shows that 52 per cent of respondents say their business is located on a First Nations reserve, 18 per cent serve clients in the United States, and 20 per cent have clients outside both Canada and the United States.
The results of the survey, which was conducted in May, were weighted by Indigenous identity group, business size and type.
For the survey, 53 First Nations, Métis and Inuit business owners in B.C. were asked questions. The margin of error is plus or minus 13.5 percentage points. The final results were weighted by Indigenous identity group, business type and industry and based on the latest statistics of Indigenous small businesses provided by the 2011 National Household Survey.
Source: Vancouver Sun