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Toronto, Sep 5 (Canadian-Media): The first in a series of consultations to educate and guide the creation of an Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE) began today in the City of Toronto, media reports said.
"These consultations are essential for creating a sustainable and successful centre," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "I'm proud to support this ongoing partnership between the Indigenous community and the City of Toronto."
"To be effective and as meaningful as possible this must be a broad engagement process. I look forward to hearing the voices of the young Indigenous entrepreneurs," said Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
These consultations would include the creation of a Leadership Advisory Council of Indigenous community and business leaders to provide vision and business model for ICIE; one-on-one engagement with leaders in the Indigenous community, including Indigenous entrepreneurs; collaborative effort with key Indigenous community stakeholders and professional organizations to produce a survey to gather input on the proposed centre; Indigenous entrepreneurs to be focused on identifying their needs and interests, and an online survey to share across the city and the country, their insights and ideas on how the ICIE can support Indigenous entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the ICIE is to provide a space and support for Indigenous entrepreneurs to build businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, collectives or co-operatives by providing by providing advisory support and workspace and giving access to resources.
To develop a relevant vision and business plan for the ICIE and its services, the City of Toronto has retained an Indigenous-led consulting firm -- The Pontiac Group -- to undertake consultations with the Indigenous community in the greater Toronto area.
"The ICIE will become a foundation and cornerstone for future Indigenous entrepreneurship in Toronto," said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). "I am pleased to champion this innovative initiative."
"The City's collaborative approach to creating this innovation and business centre is an important part of the City's ongoing efforts to form enduring relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses," said Selina Young, Manager of the City's Indigenous Affairs Office.
The centre will be located at a City-owned commercial space at 200 Dundas St. E. in a building that is currently under construction and at the end of 2019, the City will take possession of the space.
Occurrence of the the consultations will proceed throughout the coming fall and winter and the Toronto City Council would be presented next spring with its findings and recommendations .
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)