The First Nations Canvas is a comprehensive and strategic business planning tool that empowers First Peoples. It assists them through the critical steps of identifying their unique business concept, evaluating its feasibility, and finally bringing to life a prosperous and enduring enterprise.
“This tool provides a golden opportunity for all First Peoples to create wealth and attain economic independence in ways that respect and honour their traditional cultural values, holistic outlooks, and profound understanding of the world.”Dean Foley
Designed to simplify the process of business creation, the First Nations Canvas facilitates the mapping out of your business idea and its continuous updates. This concise and straightforward exercise provides the potential to set long-term goals, monitor progress, and see improvements in a relatively short time.
And it excels in two significant areas:
- It’s a strategic business planning tool that aids in formulating the problem statement, crafting the value proposition, identifying the sub-community, and designing the sustainability model. These factors will expedite and simplify the process of building a successful First Nations business.
- It’s a practical tool tailored to help potential First Nations entrepreneurs transform their business concepts into prosperous, sustainable ventures. The tool guides the entrepreneur through the intricate operations of a First Nations business, starting from the initial design and product development stages, right up to ensuring sustainability.
The tool’s Problem section is paramount to your business idea. A prosperous business requires a tangible problem to solve, a value proposition that offers a solution to that problem, and a sustainable model.
Under Value Proposition, the tool prompts you to explore the value your business brings to the community. Is your enterprise meeting the community’s needs by alleviating their issues and problems? What sets your business apart? Are you providing a solution to a problem that someone else in the community is already addressing?
Understanding the needs and challenges of the community is not always straightforward but these needs and challenges should always be the top priority for any First Nations entrepreneur seeking success through an Indigenous lens.
In the SubCommunity section, you’re encouraged to understand the potential of making a significant impact in the community by fostering the right partnerships. It’s essential to understand what the supplier or partner seeks from the arrangement and what’s in the best interest of the community.
The Sustainability Model section advises that the costs of any business should be carefully analysed before starting. What are the business’s wage requirements, infrastructure, and input costs? Is there potential for economies of scale? Are the owners primarily focused on creating value for the community?
Miles Richardson aptly stated, “You’ve still got to build entrepreneurs, your community, corporations and your nation’s initiative in a way that reflects who we are.” The First Nations Canvas embodies this philosophy.
This business plan also provides a roadmap to guide you in the journey of establishing a First Nations business and is more than just a tool; it’s a step towards empowering First Peoples, cultivating strong communities, and fostering businesses that truly reflect who they are.