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BDC creates new Aboriginal Business Development Fund


BDC creates new Aboriginal Business Development Fund in partnership with Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation

Port Alberni, British Columbia, February 2, 2008 – The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today a partnership agreement with the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) to create a new Aboriginal Business Development Fund (ABDF) to benefit entrepreneurs in the Nuu-chah-nulth trading area. BDC will invest $250,000 in capital for the micro credit loan fund and qualified entrepreneurs will be able to obtain business loans of up to $20,000.

"BDC is committed to helping entrepreneurs and start-ups across the country," stated Wellington Holbrook, Senior Vice-President, Operations, Prairies and West. "This new initiative, in partnership with the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation, allows us to have a direct impact on business creation in the region."

The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation will identify entrepreneurs who are potential loan candidates. Through the corporation's established Youth Entrepreneurship program, candidates will be offered appropriate business training including mentoring and education on such topics as human resources management, financial planning, marketing and problem resolution. The emphasis will be placed on the candidate's management capacity, business feasibility, and commitment as opposed to equity and security.

"We want to see better access to capital for Aboriginal entrepreneurs so they can create and sustain small business ownership locally," said Wilson Neapew, National Director, Aboriginal Banking at BDC. "Through the ABDF, we will provide entrepreneurs with the right entrepreneurial knowledge and support to increase their business management capacity."

"The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation has a long history of developing innovative programs such as the Business Equity Program, Youth Entrepreneurship, Mentoring and Business Links which is ideally suited to the developing region," said Darlene Watts, NEDC Chairperson. "This agreement with BDC will ensure that our entrepreneurs are well prepared to take advantage of the unprecedented employment and business opportunities that exist in their own backyard."

Aboriginal communities show higher rates of new business and self-employment than the Canadian average, with more than 30,000 Aboriginal people currently running their own businesses. Increased activity means greater need for a variety of consulting and financial services.

About BDC
BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada. BDC actively supports the development and growth of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses through its complementary financing, investment , and consulting services.

About The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation
The Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation was incorporated in 1984 to assist the Nuu-chah-nulth in achieving economic and social independence through financial assistance and advisory services to individual and tribal business development initiatives. As a result of agreements with numerous partners and strong operations over the years, NEDC currently holds assets totaling more than 20 million dollars restricted to being used to fund loans or contributions to a variety of fund portfolios. For more information, visit www.nedc.info.