Young indigenous entrepreneurs to develop their enterprises in new project

In June 2010 the Indigee – Indigenous Entrepreneurship project was launched. It aims to support young indigenous entrepreneurs in the Barents region to develop their enterprises and business ideas. - Ultimately the goal is to strengthen the indigenous communities, says project manager Lars Miguel Utsi


The idea is to have the economic development of the Barents region to benefit also the indigenous communities. The Indigee will gather up to 75 young entrepreneurs from the indigenous peoples in the Barents region and support them to develop their enterprises and business ideas.

- We are looking for young Saami, Nenets, Vepsian and Komi entrepreneurs that want to get a chance to meet other motivated and active youth in the region. We hope to gather up to 20 participants from each country in Barents and achieve concrete results for their enterprises, says the project manager.

In Indigee the participants are offered personal business consulting and coaching during a period of one year, based on their specific needs for development. Cross-border cooperation between the participants is also encouraged.
Besides business coaching, the participants will follow three conferences during the project – the first will be held in Vilhelmina, Sweden, the second in Enontekiö, Finland and the third in Nar’Yan-Mar, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia. The conferences will give the participants opportunities to meet, establish cooperation and discuss common challenges.
Fish from the lake Enare, photo:
The Indigee project has been prepared in a pre-project by the International Barents Secretariat (IBS). Now as the main project has been launched, it is run in cooperation between the Saami Association of Sweden (SSR), the Norwegian Saami Association (NSR), the Saami Association of Finland (SSG) and the IBS. The project is also in close cooperation with the WGIP and several indigenous organizations in the Russian Barents region.

Funding for the project is provided by the Interreg IVA Nord programme, Nordic Council of Ministers, Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Norrbotten County Council, Saami Parliament of Norway, Region Västerbotten, Finnmark, Troms and Nordland County Councils, Saami Parliament of Sweden and the Saami Council.

- We will gather a bunch of engaged and creative entrepreneurs and put them to work together for a whole year. I am really looking forward to see what will come out of this!

To learn more about the Indigee project, see the website, the Indigee Facebook group, email to or contact the project manager Lars Miguel Utsi at IBS.
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