Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE) - a 22,000 square foot community hub space dedicated to serving Indigenous entrepreneurs. After extensive negotiation and support from the community, we were able to secure space on the first two floors of 200 Dundas Street East to open the largest incubator dedicated to serving Indigenous entrepreneurs in North America and possibly the world. This new space will enable Indigenous-owned business operators and entrepreneurs to work with the broader community to access Indigenous-led services, technology and talent through virtual and physical co-working locations.

Located at a City-owned commercial space, the building is currently under construction and the City will take possession at the end of 2019. When it opens, the ICIE will be a culturally and technology-rich environment to support the incubation of start-ups led by Indigenous majority-owned businesses, enhancing economic development by making it a physical hub and meeting place for Indigenous entrepreneurs, industry partners, customers and more.

 

The purpose of the ICIE is to provide a space and support for Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to build businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, collectives or cooperatives. The overall vision is to provide a home for Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to access resources, advisory support and workspace for building their ventures. The ICIE will also serve as an anchor for what could become Canada's first-ever urban Indigenous Business and Cultural District, accelerating the transformation of the Dundas Street East corridor into a world leader for Indigenous innovation and business leadership. The Indigenous District will enable businesses and entrepreneurs to work with the community to access Indigenous-led innovation, technology and talent through virtual and physical co-working locations. The creation of Canada’s first-ever Indigenous District serves as a scalable model for private, public, university, and civil society partnerships.

ICIE.jpg

Over the course of 2018, the City of Toronto’s Entrepreneurship Services hosted comprehensive stakeholder consultations to develop a formal business plan for this new initiative. This exciting project will accelerate the transformation of the Dundas Street corridor into a world centre for Indigenous innovation and leadership that will enable businesses and entrepreneurs to work with the broader community to access Indigenous-led services, technology and talent through virtual and physical co-working locations. The creation of Canada’s first-ever urban Indigenous District will also serve as a scalable model for private, public, university, and civil society partnerships.

Update - December 2021

Over a period of 5 years with community support and extensive negotiation with the developer, the City of Toronto was pleased to secure a location at 200 Dundas Street East featuring 22,000 square feet of space which will become the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE). ICIE will be a culturally- and technologically-rich environment to support start-ups led by Indigenous majority-owned businesses. It will also be a hub and meeting place for Indigenous entrepreneurs, industry partners, customers and more.

After extensive years of planning and conversation with Indigenous communities in Toronto, the ICIE is now transitioning from planning to implementation. The ICIE will be governed and operated by an Indigenous-led organization to ensure that the hub reflects the values and needs of the diverse Indigenous business and entrepreneur community. A Leadership Advisory Circle (LAC) composed of local indigenous Elders, residents, entrepreneurs and leaders was formed in 2019 to provide direction and leadership on determining the governance structure of the ICIE. In the summer of 2021, under the advice of the LAC, there was an open Request for Information (RFI) which revealed that there is an abundance of highly knowledgeable and interested Indigenous-led organizations in the City that can serve as an operator of the ICIE. An open and competitive selection process of the ICIE operator will be conducted and the dedicated LAC team, City Staff, and stakeholders are ensuring that all the processes are in place for the ICIE to open up in 2023 to serve the Indigenous community of entrepreneurs.

Be the first to comment