A man from Okanese First Nation is a semi-finalist in this year’s Pow Wow Pitch Competition, where Indigenous entrepreneurs across Canada are given the opportunity to win cash based on their business pitches.
Clinton Elliott is owner of Patience Plus Contracting based out in Balcarres where he does renovations and construction. If he wins the competition, he hopes to expand his business.
“We want to go ahead and build houses on the reserves (and) train the local or teach to go out and (make) a good product,” said Elliott. “For any reserve that is willing to take us on … (winning the competition) would benefit us by helping us to buy the tools we need that we’re currently borrowing in order to complete these projects.”
Elliott’s small business currently consists of two full time employees and two summer students. His goal is focusing his business on home-building to help tackle the issue of housing on-reserves, one house at a time.
“I’ve shown that not only with my business, but my employees (and) what I’m able to give back to my community,” said Elliott. “I want to teach, and I want to pass on my knowledge.”
According to the Pow Wow Pitch website, the competition recognizes that Indigenous entrepreneurship is the path to self-sufficiency.
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“Entrepreneurship is a big part of Indigenous heritage. We used to call it trade. We are just reawakening to entrepreneurship,” stated Sunshine Tenasco, Pow Wow Pitch Founder. ” I hope that Pow Wow Pitch helps to give that gift to someone else. I love seeing entrepreneurs succeed.”
The public have the opportunity to choose their favourite Indigenous entrepreneur by voting on the Pow Wow Pitch website.
The Pow Wow Pitch Competition will announce this year’s finalists in October for a chance to win the grand prize of $25,000.
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