Today, we at Animikii are so excited to share the Métis Business Directory with all of you. For those who haven’t seen or used the tool yet, the Métis Business Directory was created by Animikii along with our close partner and ally, Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), to empower Métis businesses and business owners to build relationships within their communities. The project launched this spring and has seen steady growth in engagement by Métis business owners from all over the province since then.
The Métis Business Directory is a web-based application that is housed on MNBC’s newest website addition, the Economic Development webpage. On MNBC’s Economic Development webpage you can find resources to connect with Métis entrepreneurs and suppliers, you can find information about industry development in your community, but the tool we’re most excited for, is the Métis Business Directory.
Bringing Métis Businesses Together
The Métis Business Directory is a powerful tool that brings Métis entrepreneurs from around the province together with each other, with industry professionals and with potential partners. Each registered Métis business is given a page in the application on which to share its contact information, a summary of the company and a link to the company website. It’s a simple but effective way for Métis businesses to share their value propositions with potential stakeholders (partners, customers, suppliers, etc.). The tool has been particularly useful for Métis business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with each other and to expand each other’s networks and knowledge bases. Through the Directory, Métis entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to explore other Métis businesses in their industries or regions; they also have the ability to create meaningful network connections and even to develop lasting partnerships with like-minded organizations. Before the Métis Business Directory, Métis entrepreneurs and business owners experienced some difficulty finding and reaching out to fellow Métis-owned businesses. Now with the Métis Business Directory, these entrepreneurs can tap into to a knowledge network that has always existed, but was never readily accessible.
Authentic Métis Entrepreneurs
In order to be listed on the Métis Business Directory, each business must be approved directly by MNBC; this ensures that all of the businesses listed are operational and up-to-date. It also allows the opportunity to verify that each business listed is Métis-owned or controlled. The previous iteration of this business directory was sometimes found to be out-of-date, as the business owners themselves had no way to updating their own business information. With the new directory, each confirmed business owner has the ability to update their business’ profile. Finally, the Métis Business Directory is available to the public so any entrepreneur or business, big or small, has the opportunity to browse potential Métis partners in BC.
Connecting Business to Industry
Aside from the public application, the Métis Business Directory also has a private function that only approved Métis businesses can access. Through this new tool, approved BC Métis entrepreneurs and small business owners can search through any active requests for proposal (RFPs) listed on the application. The RFPs might be put out by government or private industry. Further, due to the far-reaching, meaningful relationships MNBC has cultivated with industry leaders in BC, in some cases the RFPs listed on the Métis Business Directory might be uploaded before they even officially go out to tender to the general business community. The tool is easy to search and easy to navigate and most importantly - it’s updated every time a new RFP goes out, so you can be sure that the information is current and correct. Rather than having the Economic Development department at MNBC manually distribute RFPs, the new Métis Business Directory streamlines the process and allows MNBC to more effectively utilize its time and resources.
By leveraging technology and user-centric design, MNBC better serves Métis business. Members now have access to a current directory of Métis businesses and have a mechanism through which they can receive a range of attractive bids for their RFPs. By making it easier for Métis businesses, suppliers and entrepreneurs to work together, MNBC is essentially growing the Métis economy. The new tools provide access for Métis businesses to network, but it also provides access of the directory to mainstream businesses and governments that want to find Métis partners.
The new Economic Development website on MNBC contributes to Métis communities in BC by providing access to industry and government projects. The Métis Business Directory contributes to Canadian society at large by compiling a list of active Métis businesses and entrepreneurs and making it available to potential partners, suppliers and customers. Through this new website and web-based app, MNBC can support Métis entrepreneurs as they push for greater participation in the Canadian economy; we at Animikii are so proud to have been a part of this project.
Check out MNBC’s website for more information on the organization and make sure to stop by the Métis Business Directory to see what Métis organizations operate in your community or your sector.
Tell us about your favourite Métis-run business and we might feature it in an upcoming Animikii spotlight post!
Article published August 16, 2016.
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