Aboriginal Women and Economic Security

Fifty-one percent of Aboriginal independant businesses belong entirely or partly to women. These women play a very important role in an economy that is quickly becoming the key driver of jobs and opportunities in the Aboriginal community.

Self-employment among Aboriginal women must be seen as key to maintaining stability. And while the numbers of self-employed women in Aboriginal communities is growing at a rate almost seven times faster than the rest of Canada, Aboriginal women are still facing barriers to their own economic security.

Which is why we at WEC produced the report titled WEC Regional Clustering Model for Aboriginal Women Study. What follows is a summary. Please read the full report here.


The goal of this report was to explore whether the methodology we developed in The Cluster Project could be applied to communities of Aboriginal women.

We wanted to analyze the systems of connection and sharing that already existed, both federally and provincially, and show how things could be improved. In other words, we wanted to show how we could address gaps in the current support system.


Our findings were that more needs to be done. Aboriginal women in Canada require greater support in many aspects of self-employment:

  • Market analysis
  • Business model options
  • Feasibility determination
  • Sustainability and growth
  • And etc.

In addition, they require help with addressing the fundamental needs and challenges that present themselves to women who start their own business ventures. These are things like overcoming fear, transitioning roles, and maintaining work/life balance.


Our recommendations were on a policy level. You can read a full list of our recommendations in a the full report.

Our recommendations were aligned with a singular purpose: to increase investment in projects, programming, services and resources for Aboriginal women.

However, it is important to note that our recommendations could be adapted for any population across the country. In that way, this report can be seen as a guideline for other such reports in similar areas.