Welcome to Pauktuutit’s guide to assisting Inuit women get started in business. Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada has always believed that helping Inuit women support themselves is important for enabling women to improve their lives and those of their families. While there are many ways to achieve self-sufficiency, Pauktuutit believes that Inuit women will benefit from taking advantage of some of the opportunities in our communities to start a small business.
Most Inuit women are already very busy people with families to look after, helping their communities in a wide number of areas and being important holders of traditional knowledge and values. We believe that the core strengths of Inuit women, including determination, intelligence and hard work translate quite nicely into the world of business.
Getting started in business is not for the timid. There are a lot of confusing terms and sometimes the processes you need to go through can be intimidating. As you begin reading this guide, remember that you are not alone — there are a number of excellent people and resources out there who are just waiting to help someone like you.
This guide has been written for Inuit women interested in building a small business. Small businesses are the fastest growing part of the Canadian economy and there is a reason for that — people are seeing opportunities in their communities to sell goods and services that are in demand. Inuit communities are small and remote, however there are often very good business opportunities that exist. Ford may not be planning on opening a new car assembly plant in the Qikiqtani region anytime soon, but people still need to hire translators, buy mitts and kamiks for their kids, have their snowmobiles fixed, buy fresh pizzas for dinners, cater meetings, buy fresh baked goods and have a place to go for coffee.
This guide is developed with you in mind. We have tried to keep the language simple without losing the important information. We use examples we have learned about in our work with Inuit women over the years. We include lots of resources that you can access easily — some in your community, some in the region and some in the territory or country.
We even have some people we’d like you to meet — some Inuit women who shared their stories about how they got into business and what the process was like. We think you’ll like them — they are just like you!