Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Virtual Indigenous Business Incubator


Nicolet College has the opportunity for a fully funded virtual business incubator through our partners at Mash Up Lab Canada.


The Mashup Lab Virtual Business Incubator for Indigenous Entrepreneurs was co-designed in partnership with Indigenous leaders from Unama’ki College and the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies at Cape Breton University.


Unama’ki College has been the vibrant heartbeat of Indigenous education at Cape Breton University for more than 40 years, offering an environment that embraces the knowledge, wisdom, and traditions of the Mi’kmaq.


From faculty and staff that speak Mi’kmaw to academic courses delivered in Mi’kmaw communities, Unama’ki College has many offerings for Indigenous learners. With research opportunities, engaging programs, and a strong community, Indigenous students come to Unama’ki College to build rewarding futures and careers paths.


The Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies was established to focus on researching on what drives success in Aboriginal business and the enhancement of the entrepreneurship and business curriculum that is contextually relevant for Indigenous entrepreneurs.


Since its establishment, the Chair has completed a variety of pure and applied research projects including the publication of a textbook (Indigenous Business: Principles and Practices), development of business cases studies highlighting Indigenous entrepreneurs, as well as the administration of research related projects and events supporting Unama’ki College’s ongoing Indigenization efforts.


The collaborative, co-learning approach taken by Mashup Lab and Unama’ki College leveraged the expertise and knowledge of each organization and two distinct worldviews, combining traditional business best-practices with Indigenous ways of knowing in the spirit of an Etuaptmumk – Two-Eyed Seeing approach.


While much of the foundational process reflects current business best-practices, every aspect of the curriculum and facilitation of the Mashup Lab Virtual Business Incubator for Indigenous Entrepreneurs has been designed to make the idea of entrepreneurship and exploring the viability of a business idea more approachable and contextually relevant for the Indigenous entrepreneurs participating in the program.


An important element of this design is a co-facilitation approach: the program is facilitated by two experienced facilitators; one being an experienced Indigenous entrepreneur, and the other an expert in traditional main-stream entrepreneurship/startup best practices.


Nicolet College is offering 15 spots that will be fully funded through grants from Associated Bank and the SBA.