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Partners in success: Vancity and Aboriginal BEST


Small entrepreneurs add enormous value and wellbeing to communities across B.C. and Vancity is pleased to partner in these successes. With a $20,000 grant to the Aboriginal BEST (Business and Entrepreneurship Skills Training) program, we’re helping to nurture the ideas and enterprising spirit of our province’s Indigenous population.

Vancity’s grant helps to fund two Aboriginal BEST programs through Aboriginal Friendship Centres in Surrey and Victoria. Aboriginal BEST is supported by the B.C. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and Service Canada. The program gives self-identified Indigenous people the skills they need to create their own jobs and build capacity in local communities.

The free program has generated many successful businesses in 85 B.C. communities, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Heavy equipment operations
  • Cycle shops
  • Fishing charters and tour guiding
  • Tutors and trainers
  • Catering businesses
  • Native art creation
  • Furniture manufacturing
  • Lawn care
  • First-aid trainers
  • Computer recycling
  • Gift shops
  • Website development
  • Home maintenance

In addition to the $20,000 grant, Vancity supports BEST graduates through our micro-loan program. “We work in partnership with First Nations, the Metis community, and Indigenous not-for-profit organizations to support community development and independence. BEST helps Indigenous people achieve economic strength and independence – a perfect fit for Vancity as we work together to create jobs and build healthy sustainable communities,” remarks Stewart Anderson, Manager of Indigenous Partnerships at Vancity.

BEST helps participants identify feasible business opportunities. They learn how to conduct market research, write business plans and explore financing options. If they want, they can pitch their business idea to a panel of community leaders. A wide variety of guest speakers round out the training. Graduates then have the opportunity to apply to a loan program set up just for BEST participants, and take part in a Dragon’s Den-style business competition.

Special welcome for Vancity members at a