CEDF Blog – Issue 1
With 67% of Manitoba’s land area and just over 7% of its population, northern Manitoba has been a long-term net contributor to the economic prosperity of all Manitoba, as the source of some of the province’s richest natural resources and tourism icons. Today however, it is a region that has suffered significant job losses in key industries and anchor companies around which infrastructure and communities have been built and have become reliant. It is these circumstances that gave rise to the establishment of the Look North Economic Task Force to establish a go forward strategy with an overall goal to inspire an economic movement in northern Manitoba that would lead to identifying and actioning sustainable and long-term solutions that lead to economic growth and diversification. The Look North Report and Action Plan is a result of this process. The report lists out 6 areas of focus that include:
The Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF) was requested to become the lead agency for the delivery of the Look North initiative. Its service delivery model is that of being a “concierge” for its clients in which, based on the needs of the client, CEDF staff will be able to provide or find the necessary supports needed. Its concierge services include:
Communication and marketing of events in the Look North region – trade shows, trade missions, business tours, advocacy, sharing success stories; Information and resource centre – business intelligence, gathering and analyzing market data, proposal writing, answering questions; Business development – supporting business retention and expansion, making business connections, connecting investors and businesses; Access to capital – providing loans, indigenous/investor engagement; Community building and engagement – provide economic development tools, presenting to communities, building leadership capacity, accessing accelerators/ incubators, connecting with youth, working with communities to clarify value.
CEDF developed the business concierge services with CEDF becoming the key contact point, through Look North, for businesses in the North looking to grow and scale. Since starting in the later part of last year, the Look North staff now has established a presence in over 43 Northern communities and is working with over 42 entrepreneurs and groups.
In the current year, CEDF has created over 60 full time, seasonal, and part time jobs through its programs.
CEDF, through Look North, is now delivering four training workshops in forestry, commercial, tourism, and wilderness safety to an estimated 300 Northerners in the area of micro enterprise development.
CEDF is working closely with other strategic partners such as Travel Manitoba, North Forge, and World Trade Center Winnipeg in order to maximize resources, eliminate duplication while addressing gaps in services in order to provide as much support as possible to Northern entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities. CEDF has also established a partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) to ensure more children in communities get access to JA programming. CEDF is currently working on two resource optimization strategies, one in commercial fishing and one in forestry that will be finalized later this year. There are currently community consultations to ensure the final strategy has input from the communities. Upcoming training dates and locations for Non-Timber Forest Products Training as delivered by CEDF are:
|15-Feb||LYNN LAKE||WESTLANE HEIGHTS SCHOOL||10AM|
|16-Feb||LEAF RAPIDS||LEAF RAPID EDU CEN. SCHOOL||10AM|
|22-Feb||CHEMAWAWIN / EASTERVILLE||EASTERVILLE COMMUNITY HALL||10AM|
|23-Feb||GRAND RAPIDS||ARENA-CURLING LOUNGE||10AM|
|29-Feb||SNOW LAKE||COMMUNITY HALL||10AM|
|01-Mar||THOMPSON||BOREAL DISCOVERY CENTRE||10AM|
|21-Mar||GILLAM AND FOX LAKE FIRST NATION||FOX LAKE SCHOOL GYM||10AM|
|28-Mar||THE TOWN OF THE PAL AND THE RM OF KELSEY||LOOK NORTH BOARDROOM IN THE OTINEKA MALL||10AM|
|29-Mar||OPASKWAYAK CREE NATION (OCN)||LOOK NORTH BOARDROOM IN THE OTINEKA MALL||10AM|
|18-Apr||CR.LK FN & CR.LK. COMM.||CROSS LAKE ADMIN OFFICE TRAINING ROOM||10AM|
|19-Apr||NOWWAY HOUSE CREE NATION/NORWAY HOUSE COMMUNITY||UCN/NORWAY HOUSE REGIONAL CENTER||10AM|
|12-Apr||CORMORANT||CORMORANT LAKE SCHOOL||10AM|
|25-Apr||BUNIBONIBEE CREE NATION||TO BE CONFIRMED||10AM|
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CEDF, LEAD AGENCY FOR THE DELIVER OF LOOK NORTH CONTACT OUR OFFICE AT (204) 778-4138 OR TOLL-FREE AT 1-800-561-4315 OR GO TO WWW.CEDF.MB.CA