Indigenous Entrepreneurship project - Indigee 2

Indigenous Entrepreneurship project - Indigee 2  

Boosting successful businesses based on indigenous values

The Indigee project idea is based on the principles of strengthening regional development by means of contributing to economic development of indigenous communities in these regions. The project provides opportunities for indigenous peoples to achieve financial independence through entrepreneurship. The Indigee 2 project gathers indigenous young entrepreneurs from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The first Indigee Indigenous Entrepreneurship project was initiated in 2010.

The main focus is to support and advice indigenous peoples with established enterprises or with business ideas closely related to indigenous culture and traditions. The project offers the participants concrete business counseling, conferences and working group meetings focusing on business development. Through the project young entrepreneurs get a personal business advisor offering hand-on guidance, feedback, knowledge and information about tools that pay off. The participants get the opportunity to take part in an extensive transnational indigenous network, and to develop their business ideas and enterprises.

Over a hundred potential indigenous entrepreneurs get inspiration to find and develop business ideas through Indigee 2 project, over sixty indigenous entrepreneurs gather to develop concrete ideas into running businesses and more than thirty indigenous business owners gather to develop their enterprises into stable and profitable businesses.

The activities are divided into three working groups. Depending on the conditions of the participants, they are divided into working sections: indigees, rookiegees and wannagees. 

The working group indigees involves indigenous peoples with existing businesses. The aim of this group is individual counseling on specific themes. The participants of this group are offered international conferences and are considered as finished when they are ready to approach in investment fund with their enterprise. Participant and producer Odd-Levi Paulsen, Julev Film AS (Norway) states:

You guys who need help with developing your company or your business idea; you’re stupid if you don’t use this opportunity. Or you could be a very smart businessman if you join Indigee”.

The working group rookiegees involves indigenous people who have concrete business ideas they would like to develop or those who recently have established a business. The participants are offered national seminars and receive both group training and individual consultations. As the business ideas are realized and businesses expanded, the participants are expected to widen and upgrade to the indigee group. Participant and reindeer herder Anna-Marja Kaddik (Sweden) states:

To develop my company the Indigee way is now the only way for me! I still use methods that we learned and it has helped me a lot”.

The working group wannagees involves indigenous people who are interested in learning more about their potentials. The participants of this group might not have concrete business ideas, but are interested in learning more about running a business. The participants are encouraged to apply to the rookiegee group if they establish a clear business idea. Participant and dujár/handcrafter Neeti Aanaar (Finland) states:

Join, Indigee enriches you in many ways!

The first Indigenous Entrepreneurship project achieved good results during 2010-2012. Among other, 26 % of the participants reported increased income or results, 27% had registered a new enterprise and 36 % had started selling a new product or service as a result of their participation in the project. The aim of the Indigee 2 is to achieve concrete results for every participant in the project.

The International Barents Secretariat (IBS) provides an extensive platform for cooperation within the Indigee project. The IBS offers opportunity for the indigenous peoples expert to provide assistance and consultations on indigenous peoples matters in the Barents-Euro Arctic Region along with the project. This improves considerably the indigenous peoples involvement in the economic, social and political arenas in the region.

More information is available at the project website

Networking in an Indigee conference.



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