Applications still open for Indigenous tourism start-ups. Apply by August 1.

Thousands of tourists are drawn to this region every  year. Is that an opportunity for you?

Indigenous Tourism Start Up Poster

The Squamish Lil̓wat Cultural Centre and the Whistler Centre for Sustainably are launching a new program – the Indigenous Tourism Start up Program (ITSP) – and are reaching out to local Indigenous communities from Lillooet to the Fraser Valley to invite individuals to participate.

The Program 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 our 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 St̓át̓yemc (N’Quatqua, Samahquam, Skatin, Xa’xtsa), Upper St’át’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.

This program will focus on the development of an Indigenous tourism business concept and then the development of a business plan. We will use the Business Model Canvas as a template for identifying a clear value proposition, customer market, cash flow and revenue streams, and then develop a full business plan. The program will include four two-day interactive and cohort-based classroom sessions, one-on-one mentorship, guest speakers, on-line learning, and mentor support, and take place from September to November, 2019, with a final pitch event in November. Thanks to funding from the BC Rural Dividend Program, 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.



  • To encourage, support and inspire new 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

Applications are due 5pm August 1st, 2019.

More information :

Indigenous Tourism Start Up PosterIndigenous Tourism Startup Program – project descriptionITSP Application

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