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 Look North region consists of 28 First Nation, 13 Indigenous and Northern Relations, and 11 Urban/industrialized communities. 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.
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.