Important dates

The opportunity to submit an application (PDF, 159 KB) for a 2018 to 2019 grant under the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) is now closed (June 11, 2018 to August 31, 2018).

Overview

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 (PDF, 159 KB) 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.

Funding

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.

Eligibility

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 (PDF, 159 KB) 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

See the guidelines program for an example of content to include.

Community support

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

Reporting

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.

Contact

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)
Phone: 780-427-2711
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-427-4019
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