Minister Vandal announces over $500,000 to support economic development in Nunavut communities during Small Business Week

News release

Funding to support entrepreneurs in remote Northern communities hoping to grow or start their own business

October 18, 2022 — Iqaluit, Nunavut — Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Small businesses are crucial to the economic success of Nunavut. Sectors including mining, fisheries, construction, the arts, and tourism are key contributors to the local economy and providing jobs. Too often, local entrepreneurs face barriers in expanding or starting their own business.

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor, announced that the Government of Canada is investing over $500,000 over two years to support a Community Economic Development and Business Development Tour. This tour will assist entrepreneurs in accessing the information they need to start or grow their local business, and in turn provide benefits to both local and territorial economies.

The Government of Canada recognizes that entrepreneurs in remote Northern communities face difficulties gaining access to the expertise and capital they need to develop their businesses. This investment will allow the Nunavut Economic Developers Association (NEDA), along with representatives from five other federal, territorial, and regional organizations, to conduct in-person consultations in 24 Nunavut communities.

These visits will provide personalized business services and advice to small- and medium-sized enterprises and give aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to talk to experts, who can collaboratively guide them through the available program supports, financing, and funding options.


"Nunavut is full of opportunity, and as we continue our economic recovery, it's important that Northern and Arctic communities not get left behind. Local businesses are the backbones of their community, providing jobs and stability. That's why our government is building on our support and collaboration with Nunavummiut to not only help existing Nunavut businesses grow, but also to give a head start to the next generation of entrepreneurs."

The Honourable Dan Vandal,
Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor

"This Small Business Week, let's celebrate the incredible local businesses that make up our community, but more importantly the incredible people behind them. They help feed our families, they create local jobs, they grow our economy, and they reflect the qualities and characteristics that make our neighborhoods unique. Our government knows how difficult the last two years have been, and that small businesses continue to face challenges, but we will continue to support them by making life more affordable and ensuring they have the resources they need to succeed."

The Honourable Mary Ng,
Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

"Innovation and resourcefulness are found in every corner of Nunavut. Initiatives like this are essential for bridging the gap between existing resources and the entrepreneurs who need them and play a welcomed role in supporting economic growth and prosperity in our communities."

The Honourable David Akeeagok,
Minister of Economic Development and Transportation

"NEDA heard from its members about ensuring equitable access to economic development supports and face-to-face interaction for businesses and entrepreneurs. Community Economic Development Officers (CEDOs) are the primary access point for small business support in their community. This project supports their continued work by bringing federal, territorial, and regional organizations to their communities to understand their unique business challenges and opportunities better. NEDA will continue to work with CanNor to ensure initiatives like this take place to support the work of CEDOs fostering sustainable small business development."

Angela Gerbrandt,
President, Nunavut Economic Developers Association & CEDO, Hamlet of Cambridge Bay

Quick facts

  • The Jobs and Growth Fund provides funding to businesses and organizations to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. The Fund, delivered by Canada's regional development agencies (RDAs), provides $700 million nationally over three years, which includes up to $70 million dedicated to businesses created after January 2020 that meet eligibility criteria.

  • The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) is investing $21 million to help job creators and the organizations that support them to future-proof their businesses, build resiliency and prepare for growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness, and creating jobs in every corner of the country.

  • NEDA is a registered non-profit economic development association that has been in operation since 2000 in Nunavut. NEDA's mission is to build capacity and strengthen Nunavut's communities by providing economic development officers and other economic development professionals with programs and services.

  • Small Business Week has been a registered trademark of the Business Development Bank of Canada since 1986, and is taking place from October 16 to 22 this year.

Associated links


Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister Responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Craig Welsh
Communications Advisor, Nunavut

Sierra Leblanc
Communications Manager
Department of Economic Development and Transportation, Government of Nunavut

Bill Williams
Executive Director, Nunavut Economic Developers Association

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