Changes to this program are proposed in Budget 2019: A plan for jobs and the economy.
Applications are not being accepted at this time. Updates will be posted here as they are available.
The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) will provide up to $750,000 to support feasible Indigenous community-owned economic development projects that improve social and economic outcomes for Indigenous peoples and their communities.
The program is intended for projects close to starting operations / breaking ground within the fiscal year following funding. Applicants must demonstrate long-term impacts for:
- increasing the number of Indigenous community-owned businesses
- increasing employment opportunities for Indigenous peoples
- creating / increasing local revenue streams for Indigenous communities
- strengthening the economies of Indigenous communities
An Indigenous community may submit only one ABIF application for consideration in any given funding year.
The funding allocation is based on a project evaluation against the scoring criteria and awarded on a competitive ranking.
ABIF will provide a minimum of $150,000 and a maximum of $750,000 to support a community-owned economic development project. For details see ABIF Application Guidelines.
The investment fund can cover up to 100% of eligible project costs, up to our limit, and can be stacked with other government and industry funding sources.
Eligible ABIF applicants are Alberta Indigenous communities / corporate entities owned by Indigenous communities located in Alberta:
- communities must own and control 51% or more of the proposed business or joint venture to receive an ABIF capital asset investment from the province
- corporate entities must be in good standing
- applicants must be in compliance with the terms and conditions of any previous Indigenous Relations funding.
How to apply
Step 1. Read the guidelines
Refer to the grant guidelines manual to ensure understanding of program terms and conditions.
Step 2. Complete the application package
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Fill out the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund Grant Application by clearly defining the business and scope of work, including a detailed breakdown of:
- estimated costs / funding sources
- a reasonable timeline for carrying out project activities
- project milestones
- detailed business plan for ongoing operations
- project plan if construction is required
All applicants must demonstrate organizational support for their project to be considered for funding by providing, at a minimum, documented evidence of a:
- Band Council Resolution for a First Nation
- Council Resolution for a Metis Settlement
- Board Resolution from a community-owned company / development corporation
- Board Resolution from a not-for-profit Indigenous organization
Step 3. Submit the application package
Applicants need to submit 3 hard copies and one electronic copy of the entire submission package for a total of 4 copies during the intake period to the ministry address below.
After you apply
This funding program follows a competitive application process with evaluations taking place in 2 phases:
- a preliminary assessment by a cross-ministry panel to screen completed applications based on evaluation criteria
- the top projects that meet all the requirements and demonstrate potential for financial viability will then proceed for a full assessment
The full assessment involves scoring applications by an external and independent business assessor and consider the following:
- demonstrated community support for the project (a Council Resolution must be included) and other supporting documentation
- the potential for generating net economic benefit (jobs and community revenue)
- demonstrated management capacity and business expertise in relation to the project
- demonstrated balance of own-source equity, commercial financing and grant funding
- long-term viability of the proposed business opportunity
- potential for project to generate spin-off business opportunities
Audited financial statements are required along with a brief narrative summary which may include but not be limited to:
- significance of the project
- relevant statistics on capacity
- general outcomes, challenges, successes
- lessons learned
Indigenous Relations reserves the right to follow-up with the applicants to evaluate the project effectiveness, including discussions of best practices and progress.
To connect with staff of the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Reception / Mail / Courier:
Alberta Indigenous Relations
19th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4G8