Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Dze L’Kant Friendship Centre Social Enterprise Feasibility Study

Project Reference Number: 2015-21 2015-09

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Kala Hooker, BA, Smithers

Rick Budhwa, Warren Wilson, Diana Creyke, Virginia Cobbett, Lydia Howard, Jocelyn Franks

Funder: BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

The Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre partnered with the Bulkley Valley Research Centre (BVRC) to assess the viability of three possible Aboriginal social enterprise initiatives. Aboriginal social enterprise is an area that has been expanding in Canada. Aboriginal entrepreneurs are the key to building a healthy economy both on and off reserve.

A review of social enterprise ideas from neighbouring communities, community works shops, and feasibility studies was conducted. Social enterprise ideas explored in this paper include a Temporary Labour Service, Traditional Restaurant, and Mini Grocery Store. The target markets, challenges, and risks were evaluated to facilitate advancement of these conceptual ideas to successful social enterprises.

This study is a positive example of continuing to build capacity and extension services for Aboriginal locals. Empowering and connecting a multitude of people in the project has strengthened the results, relationships, and abilities of those involved. This occurred as a result of the various people and organizations that were brought in to assist with this study as well as the format, including surveys, workshops, and information gathering.