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June 15, 2022
Hydro-Québec and the First Nations of Québec and Labrador Economic Development Commission (FNQLEDC) have announced a partnership aiming to meet the needs expressed by Indigenous women. Hydro-Québec’s contribution of five million dollars over five years will enable the FNQLEDC to expand its service offer and support more First Nations and Inuit women entrepreneurs who are working to create and develop their businesses.
Studies led by the FNQLEDC show that enterprises run by Indigenous women are especially committed to the well-being and development of their communities. The collaboration with Hydro-Québec will provide the FNQLEDC with the means to offer new financing services, including microcredit, as well as a financial contribution to support business creation and commercial infrastructure development. More women entrepreneurs will benefit from personalized support and expert services at every step in their project, from start-up to expansion.
Marketing support will also be available to participating businesswomen under the First Nations Identification brand created by the FNQLEDC to support and protect First Nations entrepreneurs and communities in every sphere of economic development and easily recognize the authenticity of their products and services.
The result of a consultation
The initiative is the outcome of a consultation with current and aspiring First Nations and Inuit women entrepreneurs. Decision makers from several nations and Inuit organizations, as well as members of the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, were also consulted. Hydro-Québec and the FNQLEDC, which already offers entrepreneurship services for women, worked together to define the measures to put in place.
“In the past few years, Indigenous women have been increasingly interested in entrepreneurship. Hydro-Québec’s support will enable the FNQLEDC to significantly enhance its current support services and complete its offer through the development of new services and tools. Women of all nations will benefit from the support of our team of expert advisors to develop their business plans or expand an existing enterprise. The women entrepreneurs who take part in the program will become role models for the next generations.”
Jinny Thibodeau Rankin, Interim Director General, First Nations of Québec and Labrador Economic Development Commission
“Last November, at the Grand Economic Circle of Indigenous People and Québec, Hydro-Québec made the commitment to deepen the dialogue with the First Nations and Inuit nation. And it was through this dialogue that it became clear we would support Indigenous women entrepreneurs. Our collaboration with the FNQLEDC and the support measures that will be put in place flow directly from our talks with women entrepreneurs, who generously shared their realities with us. We want to sincerely thank them, and we pledge to invest every effort to meet their expectations.”
Julie Boucher, Vice President – Sustainability, Community Relations and Communications, Hydro- Québec
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