17 Indigenous Entrepreneurs Ready To Take Next Step After JEDI’s Programs

Chef David Wolfman leads a session with incubator participants. Image: Submitted.

FREDERICTON- Seventeen Indigenous entrepreneurs in the province will have the skills they need to take their businesses to the next level next week.

On Dec.9, the entrepreneurs will graduate from the Joint Economic Development Initiative’s (JEDI) Indigenous Business Incubator and Accelerator programs. The current participants are developing and expanding businesses in sectors such as tourism, trades, retail, food production, beauty, and fashion design.

“We are proud of all the Indigenous entrepreneurs in this region. It is exciting to see so many Indigenous peoples engaged in JEDI’s programs and we are happy to be able to provide them with the support and mentorship they need,” said Alex Dedam, president of JEDI, in a release.

The JEDI Indigenous Business Incubator is a 10-week program that provides participants with the skills, tools and resources they need to succeed in business. The training provider, Frank Erschen, owner of Artful Sciences, designed and delivered a program that helps participants develop their idea into a viable, pitchable business plan.

“The business incubation process transitions a person with a dream into a ready-to-go entrepreneur with a business plan,” said Erschen. “Incubator participants worked hard throughout the program to discover what it takes to turn their idea into a viable business. Most inspiring for us is watching participants use their new knowledge to plan their upcoming business journey and develop the confidence to effectively communicate their plan.”

The Business Incubator program graduates are:

Amy Pelletier – Kwey (Aboriginal and classic fusion cuisine)
Bradley Dedam – Beta Entertainment Inc.
Brady Dedam – Beta Entertainment Inc.
Cody Caplin – Eel River Bar Riverside Cabins
Dora Polchies – Helping Hands
Dylan Ward – Shiftwork Recording
Greg Johnson – Two Guns Outfitters
Matthew Mayer – Konnective Consulting
Nicole Pelletier – À la Shop
Paige Polches – Kwey Beauty
Randy Perley – Tommy Hawk Barber Shop
Sgoagani Wecenisqon – NiiN Designs

The JEDI Indigenous Business Accelerator is designed for established businesses and provides participants with the tools to excel in advanced business opportunities with industry and government. The program, designed by BDO Canada is personalized for each business based on its own needs and goals. It provides connections to the greater start-up ecosystem, development resources, a customized business support plan, and follow-up from experienced mentors.

The Business Accelerator program graduates are:

Jolene Johnson – Wabanaki Maple
Jonas Nash – JBN Welding
Martin Bear – Bear Construction
Sue Bear – Bear Construction

“The 2019 Business Accelerator program offered by JEDI is a very exceptional and dynamic program,” said Sue and Martin Bear, in the release. “We have found it very beneficial for Aboriginal entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their business. We have all gained knowledge and increased opportunities to network with other businesses and professionals.”

The JEDI Indigenous Business Incubator and Accelerator programs are supported by the Government of Canada, the Government of New Brunswick, and the First Nation communities in New Brunswick.