Business

Aboriginal Business Match back for more

Chief Jonathan Kruger (seated) and band councillor Joseph Pierre look over some paperwork with Tourism Penticton CEO Jessie Campbell (seated) and Colleen Pennington, City of Penticton economic development officer, at the Aboriginal Business Match 2013 conference last February. - Mark Brett/Western News
Chief Jonathan Kruger (seated) and band councillor Joseph Pierre look over some paperwork with Tourism Penticton CEO Jessie Campbell (seated) and Colleen Pennington, City of Penticton economic development officer, at the Aboriginal Business Match 2013 conference last February.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

The Aboriginal Business Match hosted in Penticton earlier this year was so successful that organizers are bringing it back again next year.

While the 2012 event in Prince George was successful, the ABM 2013 in Penticton far surpassed it, bringing together 120 B.C. First Nations and 140 companies together at the Trade and Convention Centre. From those meetings, new business deals worth over $30 million were generated.

“ABM 2013 received tremendous feedback from everyone who attended,” said Keith Henry, president of the B.C. Métis Federation and co-chair of the ABM 2014 B.C. Steering Committee. “It is the only event of its kind in Canada that surpasses expectations in every way: the quality of the businesses that attend, the number of First Nations prepared to meet with them, the fun and engaging networking activities, and the recognition from big players that this is the must­-attend economic development conference of the year.”

The concept behind ABM is to forge connections between private coporations and aborignal communities looking to build on their assets and expand economic development. The method is not unlike that used by dating services; detailed e-profiles are submitted through the ABM website, which are then used to arrange one-on-one prescheduled appointments.

ABM delegates choose to meet one­-on-­one through the selection of potential business matches using e­-profile information. Sophisticated business matching software efficiently facilitates this process through targeted appointment selection.

ABM 2014 B.C. will take place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre in Penticton from Feb. 24 to 27. For the first time, an ABM will take place at TCU Place in Saskatoon from June 16 to 19, expanding the operation.

“It’s an honour to be cohosting this event for a second year. It’s huge,” said Chief Jonathan Kruger of the Penticton Indian Band. “At ABM 2013 the businesses and First Nations showed up charged and ready to do business, and it showed. Small and big ideas translated into a tangible $30 million worth of new business deals. For us and other Nations that are open for business and looking for partnerships, there is no better venue to be connected.”

Registration for Aboriginal decision makers, non-­Aboriginal businesses, non-­profit organizations, and government agencies funding Aboriginal economic development can be made online at aboriginalbusinessmatch.com.

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