Important dates

Intake is open from Monday, June 29 to Wednesday, September 30

Overview

The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) can partially or completely fund capital costs  for Indigenous community-owned economic development projects. Projects like these improve social and economic outcomes for Indigenous Peoples and their communities.

To get funding, projects should be close to starting operations or breaking ground within the fiscal year following funding.

Applicants must demonstrate long-term effects that:

  • increase the number of Indigenous community-owned businesses
  • increase employment opportunities for Indigenous peoples
  • create or increase local revenue streams for Indigenous communities
  • strengthen the economies of Indigenous communities

Funding decisions are based on the results of a competitive review process. A strong application has these elements:

  • demonstrated community support for the project that includes a formal Resolution and other supporting documentation
  • the potential for generating net economic benefit, like jobs and community revenue
  • demonstrated management capacity and business expertise on 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

Funding

ABIF provides between $150,000 and $500,000 to support an Indigenous community-owned economic development project. That could be up to 100% of eligible project costs to the ABIF maximum of $500,000. An ABIF grant can be stacked with other government and industry funding sources.

Eligibility

Eligible ABIF applicants are Indigenous communities in Alberta or corporate entities owned by Indigenous communities located in Alberta:

  • communities must own and control 51% or more of the proposed business or joint venture.
  • corporate entities must be in good standing
  • applicants must be in compliance with the terms and conditions of any previous Indigenous Relations funding.

An Indigenous community may submit only one ABIF application in any given funding year.

How to apply

Step 1. Read the guidelines

Refer to the ABIF Application Guidelines to ensure you understand the program’s terms and conditions.

Step 2. Complete your application package

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

The application package includes:

  1. ABIF Grant Application Form (PDF, 115 KB) – Review the application carefully and fill it out by clearly defining the business and scope of work, including a detailed breakdown of:
    • estimated costs or funding sources
    • a reasonable timeline for carrying out project activities
    • project milestones
    • detailed business plan for ongoing operations
    • project plan if construction is required
  2. Comprehensive business plan. This is the major part of the application. Please refer refer to the ABIF Application Guidelines for details of the content that needs to be included.
  3. Community support. All applicants must demonstrate organizational support for their project.
  4. Supporting documentation that shows partnerships.

Step 3. Submit the application package

Applicants must submit 3 hard copies and one electronic copy of the entire application package – 4 copies in total to the ministry address below before intake closes.

After you apply

This funding program follows a competitive evaluation process that looks at the following decisive factors: community benefits, management risk, industry risk and the financial risk for each application.

Evaluation takes place in 2 phases:

  1. A cross-ministry panel of up to 3 members will review each application independently.
  2. The panel will move the top-scoring projects that meet all the requirements and demonstrate the potential for financial viability to an in-depth assessment.

Staff will inform each applicant about the funding decision. Applicants may ask for a debrief session to review the in-depth results of the evaluation process.

Reporting

Audited financial statements are required along with a brief narrative summary, which may include without being 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.

Contact

Staff are available to discuss economic and business development opportunities with Indigenous community representatives.

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: ir.economicdevelopment@gov.ab.ca

Reception/Mail/Courier:

Alberta Indigenous Relations
Aboriginal Initiatives
19th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4G8