FedDev Ontario Supports Indigenous Entrepreneurship Hub in Toronto  

News release

$5 million towards new Indigenous-led innovation centre, creating 500 jobs and supporting close to 420 businesses

August 28, 2019 - Toronto, Ontario   

The Government of Canada recognizes that the success of Indigenous businesses is essential to building a strong, innovative and inclusive Canadian economy. That is why it is supporting the Indigenous community to access economic opportunities and lay the groundwork for growth that benefits Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians.

Today, Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of up to $5 million for the City of Toronto towards the creation of the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE). This Toronto-based centre will be the first Indigenous business incubator of its kind in southern Ontario, and will support Indigenous entrepreneurs as they develop, launch and grow their businesses. 

With over 20,000 square feet of commercial space over three floors at 200 Dundas Street East in Toronto, the centre will offer business skills training, collaborative workspaces, access to funding, mentorship and peer support networks based on approaches designed by the Indigenous community. Through FedDev Ontario’s investment, the ICIE expects to support close to 420 Indigenous businesses and create 500 new jobs for Indigenous Peoples across southern Ontario, enabling them to participate in and benefit from economic opportunities available throughout the region. 

The City of Toronto is working closely with the local Indigenous community to develop the ICIE. Broad consultations have taken place and a Leadership Advisory Circle has been established, with the majority of members being local Indigenous leaders and entrepreneurs.

The Government of Canada is committed to building a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. By working collaboratively to support Indigenous entrepreneurship, this project is a reflection of that commitment in action.            


“The funding announced today is key to helping the ICIE become a reality for the Indigenous business communities in Toronto and across southern Ontario. Together, we are creating a home for small- and medium-sized Indigenous enterprises to access the resources they need to build the ventures of the future and turn ideas into reality. This is a fundamental step towards improving growth opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and Toronto as a whole.”
Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York

“The Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, is pleased to invest in the City of Toronto’s Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The first incubator of its kind in southern Ontario, the ICIE will work exclusively with the Indigenous community to help build a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem that stimulates economic opportunities across southern Ontario and the entire country.”
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

"Toronto has one of Canada's largest urban Indigenous populations and the ICIE will be a culturally- and technologically-rich environment dedicated to supporting start-ups led by Indigenous businesses. Today's investment from FedDev Ontario will help make this innovative centre become a reality and advance economic opportunities for Indigenous people in the city."
His Worship John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto

“Today's funding announcement is a key step forward for the development of this important initiative. The support of the Government of Canada will enable the Centre to be built to meet the needs of Indigenous entrepreneurs. The ICIE will help Indigenous entrepreneurs to dream big, scale-up their business and be more visible in Toronto and beyond."
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 13 – Toronto Centre)

“We are proud to support our CCAB member, City of Toronto, and the development of the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The centre will provide a space for Indigenous entrepreneurs to create, expand and excel in business ventures and help continue the momentum and contribution of a strong Indigenous economy in Canada’s largest city.”
-JP Gladu, President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Quick facts

  • The City of Toronto is home to the largest Indigenous population in Ontario and the fourth largest in Canada, with close to 69,000 residents. 

  • Construction of the ICIE is currently underway, with the centre expected to open by the end of 2020.

  • This year marks 10 years of FedDev Ontario delivering funding and business services to support innovation and growth in southern Ontario.

Associated links


Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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