Alternative Funding: First Peoples Economic Growth Fund


A joint economic development initiative between the Manitoba government and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) saw the creation of the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund Inc.

The collaborative process between AMC and Government of Manitoba identified the following seven program areas for the fund:

  • Business plan assistance,
  • Skills development,
  • Entrepreneur loans,
  • Community economic expansion loans,
  • Joint-venture investments, and
  • Professional support aftercare.
  • Resource & Energy Investment

“This important fund will act as a tool in helping to close the gap in the standard of living between First Nations and non-Aboriginal Manitobans,” said Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Oscar Lathlin. “I welcome the outstanding Manitobans who have agreed to serve on the board of directors to oversee the First Peoples Economic Growth Fund.”


Financing Programs:

  1. Joint Venture ProgramThis program is intended to provide support for large-scale First Nations enterprises, which, in the opinion of the Fund, have a business concept that, through initial screening, provides excellent opportunity.
  2. Entrepreneur Loan ProgramThis program is intended to assist First Nation entrepreneurs by providing capital and/or working capital through subordinated interest-free loans that will enhance the applicant’s ability to leverage financing from other institutions and agencies.
  3. Community Economic Expansion ProgramThis Program is intended to assist First Nation community-owned businesses for startup, expansions or acquisitions. The intent is that these viable businesses will provide for the creation of wealth and jobs for First Nations.

Support Programs:

  1. Business Plan AssistanceThis program is intended to provide support to Manitoba First Nation individuals or First Nation-based enterprises which, in the opinion of the Fund, have a business concept that, through initial screening, provides excellent opportunity but demonstrates a need for financial assistance with a professional business plan.

    This program allows the applicant to engage the services of a professional consultant to assist in the research and development of a quality business plan that will be used to attract financing.

    Applicants should also attach a business concept summary. The business concept summary should include, but not be limited to, the following: business overview, industry overview, marketing strategy, management experience, staffing, estimated project costs and financing.

  2. Aftercare ProgramThis program is intended to provide professional support to new businesses that have obtained assistance under another FPEGF program in order to help improve the opportunity for success.
  3. Skills Development ProgramThis program supports rapid business readiness training for new and existing First Nations entrepreneurs to develop their management and marketing skills.
  4. Business Contribution FundFirst Peoples Economic Growth Fund (FPEGF) is pleased to announce the expansion of its economic development activities with the addition of the Business Contribution Fund (BCF).

    The BCF will consider non-repayable contributions to First Nation clients for eligible capital and operating costs to start, expand or acquire a viable business.

    The BCF may contribute up to 30% of the eligible costs to a maximum of $99,999 for entrepreneurs and $250,000 for community owned businesses, based on a viable business plan and subject to other financing being in place.

    The BCF will also look at non-repayable contributions for Business Plans, Marketing and related Business Support services.

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