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.