MMF announces new supports for Red River Métis businesses

December 7, 2023

Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis, held a sold-out Red River Métis Business Expo, which included 270 registered participants representing 122 Red River Métis businesses. It was the largest business conference ever hosted by the MMF, and reflects the pride and growth in the Red River Métis business community.

"We've been actively engaging with Red River Métis business owners and entrepreneurs for decades," said David Chartrand, President of the MMF. "After providing significant financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic, we've been able to put greater focus on supporting their growth and business development. There can be no doubt that we have an engaged and optimistic business community, and through ongoing consultation, we continue to create supports that best meet their needs."

At the expo, several key announcements were made by the MMF to advance collective economic interests and support over 1,000 Red River Métis business owners and entrepreneurs:

  • Introduced the Red River Métis Business Development Corporation (Red River Métis BDC), a proud new Affiliate of the MMF
  • The Red River Métis BDC now holds all of the assets of the former Métis Economic Development Fund which holds over $5.2 million in equity investments (8) and debt financing arrangements (12) in 20 businesses.
  • Under full MMF control, the Red River Métis BDC will not only continue to offer equity financing to Red River Métis businesses and entrepreneurs, but will expand its services and supports to businesses in response to Red River Métis business needs
  • Launched the Red River Métis Business Association
  • MMF commitment of $150,000 to support the establishment of a distinct Red River Métis Business Association
  • Administered by the Red River Métis BDC
  • Guided by an Advisory Group, representing Red River Métis businesses and entrepreneurs representing urban and rural, and from a variety of economic sectors
  • Added key Procurement Services and Supports
  • Created a new position focused on partnerships and procurement opportunities in MMF's Economic Development Department
  • Established a new Procurement Advisory Service that will support up to 40 Red River Métis businesses with technical procurement related assistance at no cost.

The event drew significant interest from other governments, corporations and large companies looking to connect with Red River Métis business owners and entrepreneurs. Federal, provincial and municipal governments were all in attendance, as was Crown Corporation Manitoba Hydro. Major companies like Bockstael, MBuilds, Ellis Don, and GFL were present as well as MMF Departments and Affiliates Métis Economic Development Organization, ESGS Inc., MMF Housing and Property Management and Métis N4 Construction.

"The Red River Métis have always been an economically minded, hardworking people - it's part of our culture," said President Chartrand. "We've always been a part of the fabric of business in Manitoba and Canada, but now that we're able to connect the dots, we're finding new strengths and new ways to ensure that our businesses, and therefore our families, thrive and prosper. Our business owners, like our Citizens, know we have their backs. We were once the economic engine of the west, and if you're paying attention, you'll know that engine is back and revving up."


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