The City of Toronto has begun planning the creation of the downtown Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE), an incubator and accelerator that will be located at Dundas and Jarvis.
“These consultations are essential for creating a sustainable and successful centre,” said Mayor John Tory. “I’m proud to support this ongoing partnership between the Indigenous community and the City of Toronto.”
According to the city, the ICIE will provide a space and support for Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to build businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, collectives or co-operatives by providing access to resources, advisory support, and workspace for their ventures.
“To be effective and as meaningful as possible this must be a broad engagement process. I look forward to hearing the voices of the young Indigenous entrepreneurs,” said Chief R Stacey Laforme from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
To develop a relevant vision and business plan for the ICIE, the City of Toronto is working with The Pontiac Group, an Indigenous-led consulting firm, to undertake consultations with the community in the Greater Toronto Area.
The consultation will include creating a leadership advisory council of Indigenous community and business leaders, who will provide input, ideas and approve the vision and business model for ICIE.
Consultations will also include one-on-one engagement with leaders, collaborative efforts with Indigenous community stakeholders and professional organizations, community consultations, and an online survey enabling Indigenous entrepreneurs from across Toronto and Canada to share their insights and ideas on how the ICIE can support entrepreneurs.
“The ICIE will become a foundation and cornerstone for future Indigenous entrepreneurship in Toronto,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). “I am pleased to champion this innovative initiative.”
The centre will be located in a city-owned commercial space at 200 Dundas Street East in a building that is currently under construction. The city will take possession of the space at the end of 2019.
The consultations will occur throughout the coming fall and winter. Consultation findings and recommendations will be presented to City Council next spring.