Calling All Indigenous Entrepreneurs: Pow Wow Pitch Announces $100,000 Cash Prize Competition

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024 | Pow Wow Pitch, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, proudly declares the launch of its ninth annual competition, inviting Indigenous entrepreneurs from across Turtle Island to participate. Presented in collaboration with RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard Canada, the competition boasts over $100,000 in cash prizes.

Indigenous vendors, artists, and entrepreneurs from both Canada and the United States are encouraged to pitch their businesses and ideas, virtually or in-person at various powwows and Indigenous festivals, for an opportunity to join the Pow Wow Pitch training and mentorship program, and to vie for cash prizes.

Reflecting on the significance of the event, Naomi Sarazin, Executive Director of Pow Wow Pitch, remarked, “Pow Wow Pitch serves as a vital platform for Indigenous entrepreneurs to support one another and showcase their innovative ideas that contribute to building capacity with their communities.”

Here’s how it works:

Virtual Pitch: Entrepreneurs can submit a one-minute video pitch virtually between April 3rd and June 5th at Pow Wow Pitch will select the top 100 Indigenous entrepreneurs as semi-finalists, providing them with mentorship and pitch training. Semi-finalists will compete in virtual semi-finals for a chance to win cash prizes and advance to the finals.

In-Person: Pow Wow Pitch will also host live pitch events at Manito Ahbee on May 18, 2024, in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Ottawa Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival on June 22, 2024, in Ottawa, Ontario; Kamloopa Powwow on June 28 and 29, 2024 in Kamloops, British Columbia; and Tobique Powwow on July 27, 2024 in Tobique, New Brunswick. Entrepreneurs can pitch their business or idea live for a chance to win cash prizes and receive a golden ticket to the finals.

The Finals: On October 23rd, top entrepreneurs from both virtual and live semi-finals will pitch to a panel of judges at the Grand Finale for a chance to win top prizes: an Alumni Prize of $5,000, 3rd Prize of $5,000, 2nd Prize of $10,000, and 1st Prize of $25,000.

All participating entrepreneurs will join a thriving community of Indigenous entrepreneurs, get a free pass to the 2024 Pow Wow Pitch Bootcamp, gain access to free training and support, receive a free .CA domain from CIRA, and a 60-day free Shopify trial to establish their online presence.

Last year’s winner, Ashley Michel, Founder of 4 Generation Creations, shared her experience: “Pow Wow Pitch has provided so many growth opportunities, such as expanding my network and gaining clientele across Canada. The funding support has allowed us to move into my first retail shop and, most importantly, has allowed us to expand our team.”

Pow Wow Pitch extends gratitude to its partners for their steadfast support. RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard Canada are co-presenting sponsors, providing significant multi-year support to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island.

Tracy Antoine, Senior Director, Indigenous Programs and Policies at RBC reaffirmed RBC’s commitment: “There are countless Indigenous entrepreneurs who are driving impactful change in communities and transforming industries with their leadership and innovation. We are excited to partner with Pow Wow Pitch to uncover these remarkable stories and support this year’s cohort of entrepreneurs in pursuing their dreams.”

Kyle Brennan Shàwinipinesì, Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program Manager at Shopify, echoed the sentiment: “Shopify is incredibly proud to continue our continued support for Pow Wow Pitch, building a thriving ecosystem where Indigenous entrepreneurs can flourish and make a lasting impact on the global market.”

Sasha Krstic, President of Mastercard Canada, added, “We are extremely proud to continue to partner with Pow Wow Pitch to amplify the voices of Indigenous small business owners, helping them share their stories and raise awareness of the actions needed to ensure they can grow and thrive. Together, with partners like Pow Wow Pitch, we’re aiming to build a future where everyone can reach their full potential, leading to a more prosperous and inclusive Canada.”

Pow Wow Pitch is also supported by Silver Sponsors  Export Development Canada, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, NACCA, Canada Post, Sklar Wilton and Associates, Jelly Academy, Futurpreneur, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, Aritzia and Seed Sponsors,  CIRA, Invest Ottawa, Best Buy Canada, MINI TIPI, the Joint Economic Development Initiative, CFDC of CIFN, ANTCO, IndigPro.

Indigenous entrepreneurs are encouraged to pitch their businesses or ideas and join the Pow Wow Pitch community. To learn more about the 2024 Pow Wow Pitch competition, visit

About Pow Wow Pitch

Pow Wow Pitch is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs, providing a supportive environment that addresses the challenges of Indigenous entrepreneurship. Pow Wow Pitch enhances growth through mentorship, programs and resources, promoting community leadership through volunteerism. For more information, visit

About RBC Indigenous Financial Services Group

For more than 100 years, RBC has been building relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities across Canada. We are committed to serving Indigenous governments, communities, organizations, businesses and individuals by creating opportunities for sustainable economic development through access to banking, capital and wealth management solutions. In addition to recruitment, training and procurement opportunities, RBC also provides donations and grants that support Indigenous interests. For more insight and market information from “A Chosen Journey” publication, visit

About Shopify

Shopify powers millions of businesses worldwide, the all-in-one commerce platform to start, run, and grow a business. Shopify’s Indigenous Entrepreneurship initiative, Build Native, supports Indigenous brands in establishing and growing their businesses. Shopify powers millions of businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Cheekbone Beauty, SECTION35, Staples, Converse, and many more. For more information, visit or

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. For more information, visit