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WORLD SUMMIT OF INDIGENOUS ENTREPRENEURS
WORLD TRADE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL SECRETARIATE
INSTITUTE FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, CANADA

Held on August 18, 19 and 20, 2003
In Toronto, Ontario, Canada

World Summit of Indigenous Entrepreneurs


In honour of the United Nations "Decade of the World's Indigenous People," the first ever World Summit of Indigenous Entrepreneurs was held in Toronto in late August 2003. The summit was designed to provide a global forum for Indigenous entrepreneurs from around the world as well as other entrepreneurs who wish to do business with Indigenous people.

Some 235 participants from 30 countries shared their experience in themes such as: World Trade and Investment Opportunities for a Sustainable Future; Access to Capital; Joint Venture Opportunities: A New Way Forward; Indigenous Tourism; Women and Entrepreneurship; Protecting and Enhancing Indigenous Knowledge; and Access to Global Markets. A networking event provided an opportunity for indigenous entrepreneurs to discuss their business ventures and seek potential partners.

During a gala ceremony, two prominent Canadian Aboriginal entrepreneurs, John Bernard, President of Donna Cona Inc., and Brenda Chambers, President and Executive Producer of Brenco Media, received the prestigious Global Indigenous Entrepreneur Award. Donna Cona is Canada's leading Aboriginal information and communications technology company, and Brenco Media provides communication and television and video production services to private and public sector organizations. Other award winners include Belkis Forentina Izqueirdo Torres of Columbia, Deni Leonard from the United States and Liu Xue Zhong from China.

Award winner Brenda Chambers, a British Columbia filmmaker whose series Venturing Forth is a documentary about successful First Nations entrepreneurs, said: "Attending this summit provided me with an incredible opportunity to meet with other Indigenous entrepreneurs from around the world and to build relationships for future business ventures. It was an honour to win this award and for the Venturing Forth crew to receive recognition for the hard work they put into the series." Both Chambers and Bernard have also previously been selected as one of Canada's Top 40 under 40.

The next summit will be held in Shanghai, China, in May 2004. For more information on the event in Toronto and the upcoming event in China. For more information on Canadian Aboriginal international business development, go to www.aboriginalplanet.gc.ca or contact Rosi Niedermayer, DFAIT, tel.: (613) 944-0634, e-mail: rosi.niedermayer@dfait-maeci.gc.ca.