Business Development Manager, Indigenous Entrepreneur Startup Program, Futurpreneur
Founder, Mind Over Everything
Futurpreneur is dedicated to supporting young Indigenous entrepreneurs between 18 to 39 through financing, expert mentorship, and access to business resources.
Futurpreneur has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for over two decades. “We’re the only national non-profit organization that provides early-stage financing, mentorship, and business resources to aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39 so that they can launch successful businesses,” says Melissa Gladue, Business Development Manager, Indigenous Entrepeneur Startup Program at Futurpreneur.
Founded in 1996 as a way of giving Canadian youth the opportunity to realize their amazing business ideas and become their own bosses, since its inception the organization has supported over 17,700 diverse young entrepreneurs, helped launch over 13,900 businesses covering every province and territory, and provided over $200 million in capital alongside one-on-one mentorship.
Supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs
Recognizing the barriers faced by Indigenous businesses, Futurpreneur launched its Indigenous Entrepreneur Startup Program in 2019 to support Indigenous entrepreneurs specifically.
“Due to significant financial hurdles in accessing banking services and capital, many Indigenous people turn to predatory lending institutions” says Gladue. “There is a lack of educational services in the ecosystem that address Indigenous financial resiliency. Futurpreneur is addressing this barrier with The Ohpikiwin Series, our Indigenous business and credit knowledge workshops. Other issues include discrimination and bias within institutions such as banks and education”
We have a dedicated team of eight Indigenous staff members who all have lived experience and a passion for helping Indigenous youth to thrive in the business world.
The team at Futurpreneur is committed to providing the necessary supports to address and overcome these barriers. “We have a dedicated team of eight Indigenous staff members who all have lived experience and a passion for helping Indigenous youth to thrive in the business world,” says Gladue.
Providing peace of mind
The financing provided by Futurpreneur is up to $60,000 and collateral-free. The organization also provides resources and programs focused on financial empowerment and literacy, including templates for business plans and cash flow analysis. Futurpreneur’s internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,600 volunteer mentors, ensuring they’re on the right path to success.
One of the young entrepreneurs Futurpreneur helped support is Paula Oness, a Métis woman and founder of Mind Over Everything (mindovereverything.ca), a clinical hypnotherapy practice that helps its clients to form new habits, find purpose, and attract success.
“It’s great to have peace of mind knowing that I can fund my business goals thanks to Futurpreneur,” says Oness. “What I wasn’t expecting was how incredible and valuable the mentorship would be. Now that I have the right people in my corner and the finances to back me, it feels like I no longer have barriers. Futurpreneur can change your life!”
If you’re a young Indigenous entrepreneur with a big idea, Futurpreneur can help. Get connected with a dedicated team member at futurpreneur.ca/en/ipm.