Drawing from her Indigenous heritage, Cherise emphasized the importance of community in entrepreneurship. “It’s super important to have a strong community with our people,” she mused. Even though she’s originally from Northern Alberta, her move helped her connect deeply with the Blackfoot culture. This connection infuses her work, life, and business ethos, fostering hope, especially for those grappling with addiction.
For Cindy, “Raising money to start, and raising money to grow” has been the most formidable hurdle. Despite these challenges, her tenacity and unwavering spirit shine through. “Getting up every day with the same energy to succeed, and keep the end goal in mind,” is her mantra.
It’s not just business acumen that steers Clinton’s entrepreneurial ship. The grounding force? “Indigenous approaches,” he states. “Giving thanks to the Creator each day helped me change my life, direct me into helping not only my community but many.” This spiritual rootedness resonates deeply with his Indigenous heritage, infusing his business with a sense of purpose and community upliftment.
Embracing her Indigenous roots, Kristine’s approach to entrepreneurship is all-encompassing. “My studio, whether virtual or in-person, is a sanctuary. A haven where love and respect reign supreme,” she explains. She believes that while there’s significant progress in accepting Indigenous entrepreneurs, the road is still long.
When asked about the Indigenous approach to entrepreneurship, Shay’s face lights up, “The essence of Indigenous entrepreneurship is the value of family and community. In HOLO EYES, I ensure that we foster a sense of community. Every product, every photoshoot, and every mobile service is a step towards bringing people together.”
Drawing from her rich journey, Brooke offers wisdom for budding Indigenous entrepreneurs: “Stay grounded in your purpose.” For her, entrepreneurship is rooted in the lessons learned, challenges surmounted, and personal growth. “One of the most significant lessons I’ve learned,” she reflects, “is that the journey is just as valuable, if not more so, than the end results.”
For Persson, entrepreneurship is about creative freedom and carving her own path. “It’s okay to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and dare to do things differently,” she reflects. Her advice to budding Indigenous entrepreneurs is succinct: “Start today!” She emphasizes that every entrepreneurial journey is unique, and it’s essential to trust your instincts and redefine what success means for you.
Through her entrepreneurial journey, Rebecca’s most vital takeaway has been the essence of financial management and bookkeeping. For budding Indigenous entrepreneurs, her advice is crystal clear: “Start out with small goals to achieve your bigger goals, and making connections is the key to success.” She extends her gratitude to those who’ve aided her journey, saying, “Without a good network, a business cannot stand alone.”
Valleyside Art, as Rachel describes, offers a canvas of fine art paintings, both in their original and print forms. What sets her art apart is the vibrancy of its nature – “I have a unique style of painting colourful animals.” Beyond creating art, Rachel’s business ethos is to grow and give back. “I want to double my business quarterly until market saturation. This will provide more jobs in my community and be able to afford to give back through charitable donations,” she asserts.
Ricky’s vision for Blackstone Concrete transcends mere profit. His ambition is rooted in his desire to give back. “I am building my business with a vision of providing employment opportunities to our at-risk Indigenous youth,” he states.
Samantha remarks on the most profound lesson she’s gleaned from her entrepreneurial journey, “I am right where I am supposed to be.” And to those Indigenous individuals considering entrepreneurship, she has a straightforward message: “Just start.” She emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, urging aspiring entrepreneurs to seize every available workshop opportunity, such as the JEDI entrepreneur programs.
John decided to participate in Pow Wow Pitch to gain awareness for his brand, join a community of like-minded Indigenous entrepreneurs, build trust in his brand, to learn and grow. “I’m building the brand with our people first, then I’ll go from there,” he stated, emphasizing the significance of community endorsement and trust in business. “That I made the news feels great as a Semi-Finalist means so much to me,” Halkett remarked, grateful for the acknowledgment of his hard work.
As Sean says, “When you’re wearing my clothes, you’re becoming an advocate.” Through its designs, Red Rebel Armor is transforming the way we see and understand Indigenous culture and resilience, one piece of clothing at a time.
“I am proud to be collaborating with Pow Wow Pitch by contributing ‘Good Day, Bad Day,’ said Louie. “I’m committed to uplifting Native artists and entrepreneurs and Pow Wow Pitch is helping us grow. I think the art will carry these good intentions to everyone that buys or receives a box.”
The winning business, Kruger Mountain Gear, is a local outdoors brand that is making a name for itself through their unique elk call tool, patented as ‘Okanagan Elk Battle Tubes’ & ‘Arrow Lakes Elk Battle Tubes.’ As part of the pitch, Charles spoke passionately about his strides in local elk conservation as well as traditional hunting practices he uses in hunting knowledge sharing. “This Pow Wow Pitch was a super experience,” said First-Place Winner Charles Kruger, Founder of Kruger Mountain Gear. “I came back to try it again (for a second attempt) and it gave me a chance to grow and sharpen my skills and speak from my heart. Pow Wow Pitch makes people feel comfortable and welcome. It was a great experience.”