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First, National Indigenous Accelerator Program Launches with 24 Entrepreneurs

by pmnationtalk on November 26, 2020394 Views

First, National Indigenous Accelerator Program Launches with 24 Entrepreneurs

Vancouver, BC (November 26, 2020) – The Fireweed Fellowship welcomed 24 Indigenous womxn (cis or trans), non-binary folx, 2 Spirit, IndigiQueer+ entrepreneurs to participate in the first ever national Indigenous accelerator program.

“It’s important, as Indigenous people, that we carve our own path in entrepreneurship. For over a decade, Silicon Valley style accelerator programs have been supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups in a very specific way – connecting them with business tools, mentorships and investors,” says Jacqueline Jennings, Fireweed Fellowship Director. “The Fireweed Fellowship practices two-eyed seeing.* It weaves together the best of the start-up accelerator model with Indigenous ways of knowing and being – which centre relationships, wellbeing and our connection to the land.”

Through the 10 month program, folx will join a cohort that combines online educational sessions, self-directed on the land learning, leadership development, funder and investor introductions, online chats with Elders and feasts, and trauma informed money mindset and entrepreneurial finance workshops. Additionally, the cohort will be offered peer support, one-on-one coaching, mentorship, pro-bono professional services and investment-readiness preparation.

“Participation in the Fireweed Fellowship means acceptance into a community of supporters, mentors, coaches and unconditional love for the work we are doing,” said Nicole McLaren, Founder and CEO of Raven Reads Books Ltd. “Raven Reads was founded on the premise of education and unconditional support for our subscribers, and we are very appreciative of finding a community who will support us in our endeavors and growth.”

The Fireweed Fellowship is an initiative of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, Canada’s first Indigenous-led and owned social finance intermediary.

“By investing in our people, we can build the Indigenous economy. We believe that is the best way to achieve equity and equality for Indigenous folx living in Canada today,” said Paul Lacerte, Managing Partner of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners. “The Fireweed Fellowship is the next step in fulfilling our vision by supporting entrepreneurs who are bringing back economic practices centred in relationship-based values.”

The program was co-created and informed by Knowledge Keepers, business leaders and the Fireweed Fellowship’s Indigenous program team to decolonize the standard accelerator model. All elements of the program have been designed to honour and recognize the wisdom of Elders, relationship to land, the strength of the matriarchy.


* Two-eye seeing or Etuaptmumk is a Mi’kmaw word and concept,

About the Fireweed Fellowship:

The Fireweed Fellowship was created in response to the need to decolonize business and entrepreneurship programming. Fireweed is committed to economic transformation. This means a shift from scarcity to abundance; with Indigenous wisdom at the centre and celebrating Indigenous excellence. Due to the global pandemic, the Fireweed Fellowship moved its in-person, cohort based programming to an interactive online format to protect the health and safety of participants. The Fireweed Fellowship is supported by Shopify, Lawson Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, Dragonfly Ventures, ESDC and RADIUS SFU.

About Raven Indigenous Capital Partners:

Raven Indigenous Capital Partners work in partnership with Indigenous social enterprises and social purpose organizations to accelerate their success by providing access to capital and bespoke technical assistance within an Indigenous cultural framework. Ultimately, Raven aims to achieve a positive and lasting impact on the Indigenous and Canadian economies.

Media Contact:

Shani Gwin
Gwin Communications

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