Indigenous Businesses & Government Procurement

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Get 1on1 support from an Indigenous business coach to gain customized tips and tools to learn how to sell successfully to government.

Interested in learning more? Fill out this short Microsoft form and an Indigenous business coach will connect to chat about your business and discuss if the program is a fit for you.

Or contact us directly at or 1−877−644−2267

NOTE – At present this program is only open to Indigenous small and medium-sized businesses based in Atlantic Canada. As the program is a pilot, space is limited, thus not all interested will be accepted.

Program Details

What you will gain:

Through 4-months of customized support we will help you increase your:

  • Understanding of how government procurement works
  • Ability to find and assess opportunities to sell to government
  • Skills to develop and submit a successful bid

Your commitment:

A coach has 40 hours to work with each participant business. Their fees are covered fully by the program.

As some of your coach’s time will be spent researching, finding tools, and creating templates for your business, your commitment to complete the program components is approximately 25 hours.

Program Components

Participant businesses commit to work with their coach to complete all program components:

  • Review business strengths and gaps
  • Create a customized coaching plan
  • Undertake coaching sessions and complete follow-up tasks
  • Evaluate coaching support and its impact on business goals

The coaching support will be offered over a 4-month timeframe.

Meet the Indigenous Business Coaches

Coaches will be matched with participant businesses based on business profile, preference, and availability.

Robert Bernard

President & CEO of Indigenous Guide Consulting Services located in the traditional and ancestral territory of Mi'kma’ki. Robert’s first company focused on Indigenous relations in the oil and gas industry and working with multiple government departments, all aimed at increasing the employment, training and capacity needs of his people. Primarily focusing on building capacity and business development, Robert’s current roles have expanded into several connected fields focusing on growth, support and socio-economic opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities.

Terry French

After years in the banking world, Terry French now provides support to businesses by focusing on business development and critical thinking to achieve maximum growth and results through internal operations. He excels at assessing strengths of businesses and positioning of companies for continued ongoing success. At the same time, he helps establish plans to achieve short/medium and long-term objectives and goals. Terry has a driven passion for working with First Nations bands and businesses for over two decades. Terry has vast experience in financial matters related to business including lending options, banking agreements, taxation and taxation strategies. Terry lives in Valley, located just outside of Truro NS.

Tanna Pirie-Wilson

Tanna is a very proud Wolastoqiyik (people of the beautiful and bountiful river) from the Neqotkuk Maliseet Nation (Tobique First Nation) in New Brunswick. Following a career in the federal public service, she became the CEO of Band Operations for Tobique. Tanna is now a consultant; her goal is to apply her skills and knowledge to help businesses and communities plan and prepare for success.

Supporting Economic Reconciliation

“Research completed by Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) indicates that Indigenous businesses find the bidding process for government contracts cumbersome. Key barriers to pursuing contracts are access and awareness of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.”  Jean Paul Gladu, former CEO of CCAB

LearnSphere is a non-profit organization committed to helping organizations prosper through learning and skill development. Our Supply Chain 123 program empowers companies to navigate and grow sales within complex supply chains.

Funding for Supply Chain 123 is provided by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s Office of Skills for Success.

Skills for Success are skills that help you in a quickly changing world. Improving them will help you succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s workplace.

Government of Canada
Supply Chain 123