The Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE) - a 22,000 square foot community hub space dedicated to serving Indigenous entrepreneurs. After extensive negotiation and support from the community, we were able to secure space on the first two floors of 200 Dundas Street East to open the largest incubator dedicated to serving Indigenous entrepreneurs in North America and possibly the world. This new space will enable Indigenous-owned business operators and entrepreneurs to work with the broader community to access Indigenous-led services, technology and talent through virtual and physical co-working locations.
Located at a City-owned commercial space, the building is currently under construction and the City will take possession at the end of 2019. When it opens, the ICIE will be a culturally and technology-rich environment to support the incubation of start-ups led by Indigenous majority-owned businesses, enhancing economic development by making it a physical hub and meeting place for Indigenous entrepreneurs, industry partners, customers and more.
The purpose of the ICIE is to provide a space and support for Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to build businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, collectives or cooperatives. The overall vision is to provide a home for Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to access resources, advisory support and workspace for building their ventures. The ICIE will also serve as an anchor for what could become Canada's first-ever urban Indigenous Business and Cultural District, accelerating the transformation of the Dundas Street East corridor into a world leader for Indigenous innovation and business leadership. The Indigenous District will enable businesses and entrepreneurs to work with the community to access Indigenous-led innovation, technology and talent through virtual and physical co-working locations. The creation of Canada’s first-ever Indigenous District serves as a scalable model for private, public, university, and civil society partnerships.
Over the course of 2018, the City of Toronto’s Entrepreneurship Services hosted comprehensive stakeholder consultations to develop a formal business plan for this new initiative. This exciting project will accelerate the transformation of the Dundas Street corridor into a world centre for Indigenous innovation and leadership that will enable businesses and entrepreneurs to work with the broader community to access Indigenous-led services, technology and talent through virtual and physical co-working locations. The creation of Canada’s first-ever urban Indigenous District will also serve as a scalable model for private, public, university, and civil society partnerships.
- Toronto Is Building New Indigenous Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, StartUP Here, September 3, 2018
- Indigenous entrepreneurs offer input about development of Toronto business incubator, CBC News, October 25, 2018
- Toronto is developing plans for downtown Indigenous Centre, Daily Hive, September 5, 2018