Indigenous Tourism Start up Program Launches in Whistler

SEA TO SKY PARTNERS CULTIVATE INDIGENOUS TOURISM IDEAS

Coming summer 2019, the Indigenous Tourism Start up Program (ITSP) is managed through the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) in partnership with the Whistler Centre for Sustainability (WCS).  The ITSP builds off of the Squamish Lil’wat St’at’imc Business Start-up Program (2018) and the Social Venture Challenge that the Centre created in 2015 and ran for three years. These initiatives successfully helped kick start new social enterprises in the region, with forty-one enterprises having completed the programs to date.

This year the program will support new business start-ups for members from Indigenous communities in the Fraser Valley to Lillooet region, including, but not limited to: Squamish, Lil̓wat, Lower St’at’imc (N’Quatqua, Samahquam, Skatin, Xa’xtsa), Upper St’at’imc (T’it’q’et, Ts’kw’aylaxw, Xaxli’p, Tsal’alh. Se’k’welwas and Xwisten), Musqueam, Tsleil –Waututh, Sto:Lo, Tswawwassen, Kwantlen, Katzie, Kwikweltlm, and Shishalh Nations.

BUSINESS START UP COURSE AND PITCH EVENT

This program will focus on the development of an Indigenous tourism business concept and a business plan to support its launch. Using the Business Model Canvas as a template for identifying a clear value proposition, customer market, cash flow and revenue streams, participants will test their business concept and learn the tools to develop a full business plan. The program will include four two-day interactive and cohort-based classroom sessions, one-on-one mentorship, guest speakers, online learning, and mentor support. The full program takes place from September to November 2019, with a final juried pitch event in November.  Diana Mulvey from Seeds Consulting will lead two classroom sessions to guide learning on customer relationships, branding and marketing.

Thanks to funding from the BC Rural Dividend Program and Community Futures Howe Sound, all program costs, including accommodation and a travel allowance, are covered for the participants within the region identified. Participants from communities beyond the identified region will be reimbursed to a maximum travel allowance, and will also have costs of accommodation covered.

PROJECT GOALS

  • To encourage, support and inspire Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs in the development of their new business
  • To support a stronger culture of Indigenous-based entrepreneurship
  • To build confidence and capacity in areas pertaining to business planning, financial literacy, marketing, branding, relationship building, and more
  • To increase jobs and employment, and strengthen community-driven economic development

The deadline to apply is August 1, 2019.

DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION DETAILS

 

Indigenous Tourism Start Up Program

Photo credit: Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre / Logan Swayze