Promise and Prosperity (2010): The Aboriginal Business Survey

Aboriginal self-employment is on the rise. According to the 2006 Census, there are more than 37,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons in Canada who have their own businesses, a significant increase of 85 percent since 1996.

Ninety-eight percent of all businesses in Canada are classified as small businesses (under 100 employees), and these small businesses employ half of the total labour force in the private sector. Like other small businesses across Canada, Aboriginal businesses create employment, economic prosperity and social well-being. The development of viable business opportunities is essential to the future prosperity of Aboriginal peoples, and for improving Aboriginal employment prospects, especially for the growing number of young Aboriginal job-seekers entering the labour market.

Yet, there is relatively little current information available on Aboriginal business owners.The last comprehensive study of Aboriginal businesses was conducted by Statistics Canada and Aboriginal Business Canada nearly a decade ago (2002).

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) embarked upon the 2011 Aboriginal Business Survey (ABS) to address this knowledge gap and contribute to the understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by Aboriginal businesses.

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