Startup Nations Ikwe: Collective Entrepreneurship Projects Rooted in Their Communities and Driven by the Aspirations of Women
The StartUP Nations Ikwe 2020 came to a wonderful end on December 7, 2020 with the participation of all three teams in a completely virtual event inspired by “Dragon’s Den”. An overview of the three projects that were presented follows.
The 10 participants of the StartUP Nations Ikwe 2020 and their supporters gathered on the Zoom platform to present (“pitch”) their collective entrepreneurship projects in front of a jury made up of four “Dragons”. These Indigenous women, who are experts in their fields, provided assessments of their presentations, but also advice and resources for setting up projects.
Team from Trois-Rivières: Mirwatisiwin accommodation project
In the Atikamekw language, the word “Mirwatisiwin” means “to get better, to be healed, to be healthy”. It is with this philosophy in mind that the team developed a residential facility project intended for Indigenous patients who are hospitalized in Trois-Rivières. The team, supported by the Centre d’amitié autochtone de Trois-Rivières, wishes to offer these patients culturally safe and adapted accommodations, including personalized support services and interpretation services.
Team from Uashat mak Mani-utenam: The Innu hub project
The five participants, supported by the Société de Développement Économique de Uashat mak Mani-utenam, wish to create a meeting place for women entrepreneurs from their community. This hub would be a multifunctional space including premises for rent for women entrepreneurs and students, meeting spaces, a café-bistro, a daycare centre, a production area and a crafts store. It would aim to bring women entrepreneurs together while honouring Innu identity and pride.
Team from Quebec City: Shuni accommodation project
The Quebec City team proposed a resort project based in Papinachois, a natural site with exceptional attractions located on the North Shore near Pessamit. Designed for a clientele of young Indigenous and non-Indigenous families, this site would offer visitors traditional accommodation and catering services as well as cultural and outdoor activities. The three participants, supported by the Centre de services en emploi et formation de Québec, are keen to develop an authentic project that would promote reconciliation between the Quebecois and Innu peoples through the sharing of Innu culture.
Over the next few months, the three teams will continue to benefit from the support of the partners of the StartUP Nations Ikwe, the FNQLEDC and Quebec Native Women, to implement and propel their collective and personal projects.
Following the success of this first group, the StartUP Nations Ikwe course will be offered again in 2021 to women from the communities of Kanesatake, Gespeg and the city of Joliette. The launch of this new edition will take place on March 8, 2021 on International Women’s Day.
To learn more about the StartUP Nations Ikwe, we invite you to read the article The Social Economy for Women: A Glance at the Startup Nations Ikwe.