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Applications open for #WeThrive: New campaign to celebrate Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada

Press Release

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, EntrepreNorth, Pow Wow Pitch, and Raven Indigenous Capital  Partners come together with Facebook Canada and Shopify to create a national shoppable ad campaign  driving Canadians to Indigenous-owned businesses.

TORONTO, July 14, 2021  – Today, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), EntrepreNorth, Pow Wow Pitch, and Raven Indigenous Capital Partners have come together with Facebook Canada and Shopify to spotlight Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada to consumers through a new campaign titled, #WeThrive.

#WeThrive invites Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada, with an active Shopify online store, to submit their products to be featured in a three-week shoppable ad campaign from Shopify on Facebook and Instagram. There is no cost to apply or to be featured.

There is an impressive, fast-growing community of Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada. Indigenous-owned businesses have always encountered unique barriers; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented Indigenous entrepreneurs with additional significant challenges. According to a recent report from the CCAB, 73% of Indigenous-owned businesses have reported a negative impact on their business as a result of the pandemic, while 37% faced temporary closures. Further, 72% of Indigenous entrepreneurs currently need financial support, but many are hesitant to take on additional debt. According to a recent Leger survey, Canadians are eager to show support, with 76% of Canadians believing that supporting strong Indigenous businesses is an important pathway to healing Canada’s relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.

Eligibility Criteria
This campaign is exclusive to Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada with an active Shopify online store – participation in the campaign is free and there is no limit to the number of businesses that can participate. Businesses must have a Facebook and/or Instagram account, meet Facebook’s Community Standards and Advertising Policies, and must sell a physical product that can be shipped to consumers across Canada. A full list of eligibility criteria can be found here.

Once approved to participate, Indigenous-owned businesses across Canada can submit up to five products that could be included in the #WeThrive Shoppable Buying Guide ad campaign.

Indigenous-owned businesses can apply to participate in the #WeThrive Shoppable Buying Guide ad campaign by visiting fb.com/wethrivecanada.

Industry Collaboration
Facebook and Shopify are working with industry leaders who believe in the power of Indigenous entrepreneurs and small businesses, including Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, EntrepreNorth, Pow Wow Pitch, and Raven Indigenous Capital Partners.

“Shopify believes in a world where more voices in entrepreneurship creates more empowerment and economic opportunities,” said David Pereira, Global Indigenous Programs Lead at Shopify. “We’re proud to collaborate with Facebook on #WeThrive to amplify Indigenous-owned businesses, and help connect Canadian shoppers with Indigenous entrepreneurs across Canada.

“CCAB’s research has found that Indigenous-owned businesses encountered exacerbated challenges during the pandemic,” said Tabatha Bull, President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “Now is the time to reflect on how we can lift each other up in a more collaborative way by contributing to the Indigenous economy. #WeThrive provides the opportunity and platform to buy Indigenous and foster economic growth that benefits all Canadians. Spend your money where it can create a positive impact and start your own path toward reconciliation.”

“EntrepreNorth is excited to join forces with Facebook and Shopify to bring this opportunity to Northern Indigenous entrepreneurs who are harnessing the power of business to help their own communities to thrive and heal,” said Benjamin Scott, Project Director of EntrepreNorth. “The #WeThrive campaign also gives more Canadians an opportunity to support products that carry stories of cultural strength and pride at a time when it is needed most.”

“One way that reconciliation happens is through trade – when we buy products from and support Indigenous entrepreneurs,” said Sunshine Tenasco, CEO of Pow Wow Pitch. “The power of this program to help Indigenous entrepreneurs reach an audience at the scale of Facebook and Shopify is a fantastic opportunity for Indigenous businesses and those who want to support Indigenous communities.”

“At Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, we believe in the power of Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses to drive transformational change at the individual, community and ecosystem level,” said Jeff Cyr, Managing Partner at Raven Indigenous Capital Partners. “But not only that, these companies are offering products and services at the forefront of innovation. #WeThrive is an opportunity to introduce these industry leading Indigenous enterprises with a wider audience through the global platforms of Facebook and Shopify, and to allow Canadians to take action and vote in favour of reconciliation with their dollars.”

“Through our ongoing work with Indigenous communities, we have learned how important online tools are to connecting their businesses with the communities they serve,” said Garrick Tiplady, Managing Director of Facebook Canada. “We are passionate about helping Indigenous businesses grow, and #WeThrive provides that opportunity for businesses and their products to be discovered from coast to coast on Facebook and Instagram.”

#WeThrive builds on Facebook Canada’s initiatives to support Indigenous businesses and amplify Indigenous Voices. Our most recent work includes a $500,000-contribution to CCAB’s support program for Indigenous-owned businesses and the launch of #ReconcileThis – Indigenous Voices Online. In collaboration with the National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre,  #ReconcileThis is a four-year initiative that provides hundreds of Indigenous creators with funding, production equipment, and training to share their stories, history, and to celebrate culture online.

ABOUT CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR ABORIGINAL BUSINESS
CCAB is committed to the full participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s economy. As a national, non-partisan association, its mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities, and awareness.  CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and programs to its members to cultivate economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples and businesses across Canada. For more information visit ccab.com.

ABOUT FACEBOOK CANADA
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. More than 24 million Canadians use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

ABOUT SHOPIFY
Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Proudly founded in Ottawa, Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Manitobah Mukluks, Cheekbone Beauty, Sisters Sage, Her Braids, Uasau Soap, Tania Larsson, and many more. For more information, visit www.shopify.com.

For further information: PLEASE CONTACT: Marissa Baecker, [email protected], Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business; Meg Sinclair, Facebook Canada, [email protected]; Jackie Warren, Shopify, [email protected]

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