The call for ABIF applications opens April 21.
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 funding year.
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
Indigenous Relations bases funding decisions 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 the project to generate spin-off business opportunities
ABIF provides between $150,000 and $750,000 to support an Indigenous community-owned economic development project. That could be up to 100% of eligible project costs. An ABIF grant can be stacked with other government and industry funding sources.
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.
Eligible and ineligible costs
The intent of the ABIF program is to invest in the capital elements of business initiatives. Please see the ABIF Application Guidelines for a list of eligible and ineligible costs.
How to apply
Step 1. Read the guidelines
Refer to the ABIF Application Guidelines to learn the program’s terms and conditions.
Step 2. Complete your application package
The application package must include:
- ABIF Grant Application Form (PDF, 292 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
- Comprehensive business plan and/or business plan template (PDF, 223 KB) – This is the major part of the application. Refer to the ABIF Application Guidelines for details of the content that needs to be included.
- Community support – All applicants must demonstrate organizational support for their project.
- Supporting documentation – Applicants should include any relevant documents that support the viability of the project (feasibility studies, permits, environmental assessments, letters of support, franchise agreements, partnership arrangements and commitments, etc.).
Step 3. Submit the application package
Applicants must submit one electronic copy of the entire application package to [email protected].
After you apply
Grants will be given to projects that successfully pass a competitive evaluation based on these factors: community benefits, management risk, industry risk and the financial risk for each application.
Evaluation takes place in 2 phases:
- A cross-ministry panel will review each application.
- Top-scoring projects that meet all the requirements and demonstrate the potential for financial viability will receive an in-depth assessment.
- Each applicant will be informed about the final funding decision. Applicants may ask for a debrief session to review the in-depth results of the evaluation process.
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.
Successful applicants will provide audited financial statements and a short narrative summary. The summary can include these details and more:
- project significance to the community, and how the community plans to measure the business’ continued success
- relevant statistics related to the project (for example, number of permanent jobs held by Indigenous People)
- general outcomes, challenges, successes
- lessons learned
The Alberta government reserves the right to follow up with the applicants to evaluate the project effectiveness, including discussions of best practices and progress.
Successful grant recipients
See the document below for information on the successful grant recipients in 2022-23.
- ABIF grant recipients 2022-23 (PDF, 58 KB)
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: [email protected]
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