New funding boosts opportunities for Indigenous women and immigrant entrepreneurs

IAAW CEO Rachelle Venne

(August 7, 2018) – The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women is one of 32 projects, approved for new funding from Alberta Status of Women that will help immigrant entrepreneurs, empower Indigenous communities and make life better for Alberta women.

The province is providing $850,000 to non-profit organizations to kick-start or expand innovative projects that empower women in leadership roles, increase economic security for their families and prevent gender-based violence.

“When women succeed, Alberta succeed,” noted Minister of Status of Women Danielle Larivee. “Through partnerships with frontline organizations, we’re helping to mentor budding entrepreneurs, giving new Canadian families a leg up and making Alberta safer for women and girls.”

One-time grants of up to $50,000 will support new projects or expand successful programs into new parts of the province. The wide variety of projects are focused include mentorship programs in business and technology and skills training to overcome gender-based and domestic violence. The John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights will use $50,000 to expand a project aimed at newcomers and vulnerable women.

L to R: MLA Annie McKitrick, future business owner Nadifa Oma, and Minister Larivee enjoy Oma’s catering selection

“Many of the Indigenous and immigrant women we serve don’t know what resources are available or have had bad experiences accessing institutions and supports,” remarked Tisha Raj, Projects and Communications Coordinator, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.

“Through the Stride self-advocacy program, these women are gaining agency and supporting their communities by knowing their rights, learning to self-advocate, and connecting their experiences and to each other. As one of our participants told us, when we come together, we can move forward.”

Another $25,000 grant will help the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women host an Indigenous Women Justice Forum later this fall, helping participate navigate the justice system and advocate for better outcomes.

“This grant will bring together strong and resilient Indigenous women to create positive change. Indigenous women are disproportionately represented in the justice system, and opportunities like this help provide tools to help families, workers and communities find better paths forward,” stated Rachelle Venne, CEO, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women.

The Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative is receiving a $50,000 grant to help immigrant and refugee women run micro-enterprises in their own communities. The cooperative is partnering with the University of Alberta to create and roll-out a model that will help new Albertans become small business owners.

“The women we work with are talented, with incredible entrepreneurial gifts learned in their home countries and brought here to a new homeland,” stated Yvonne Chiu, Mutlicultural Health Brokers Cooperative. “This grant from Status of Women will support our work to bridge relational and cultural gaps these women need to overcome, helping them find the resources and local expertise needed to reach their aspirational goals.”

This is the second year of the Status of Women Community Grant Program, which supported 34 organizations last year.

1 Comment on "New funding boosts opportunities for Indigenous women and immigrant entrepreneurs"

  1. Shelly Markowski | August 20, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Reply

    Hello I have a small cleaning business where I mainly focus on the elderly and those who are suffering from health issues. I’m not sure if I would qualify or not please contact me to let me know.

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