Skip to main content

There’s no stopping a person with a purpose.

In.Business: A National Mentorship Program for Indigenous Youth uses business learning and Indigenous business mentors to spark the imaginations of our young people about where a career in business can take them and the positive impact they can have. Why business? Because business drives economic growth. Business is the engine for enriching the lives of our peoples and communities. A new generation of Indigenous business leaders is the fuel. We help provide the spark.

In.Business is an initiative of the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies at Cape Breton University’s Shannon School of Business. The depth and breadth of the Chair’s reach encompasses Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast. In.Business is a project focused on mentorship and national student recruitment – a key pillar in the Chair’s mandate.

More About CBU More About Purdy Crawford Chair


90% of students say the challenges are a fun way to learn about business concepts.

Our mission.

Our mission is to change historically low Indigenous youth enrolment rates in college and university.

By creating a path for more Indigenous youth into post-secondary business study, we help empower them to become catalysts for social and economic prosperity in our communities. We operate at the high school (grades 10 -12) level, engaging, educating and mentoring participants, all the while working to bridge the gap and ensure a successful transition to the next step of their learning journey.

The In.Business Path

When you know yourself, you know the value you bring.

In.Business builds more than business knowledge. It builds character. We Incorporate the knowledge of Aboriginal history, culture and values as an integral part of the learning, because applying that knowledge will bring new perspectives to Canada’s business community, and will help shape the future while respecting and preserving our history. Students also learn collaboration, communication and leadership while building self-esteem and confidence in what they can achieve.

“I want to be more in control of my Aboriginal roots... Once I get my education done, I’ll be able to make my own business with the entrepreneurial skills that I have achieved.” – Charles Jesso, former In.Business student

Picture what generations of perspectives can do

Learning from elders is something that is deeply engrained in our culture. That’s why we built mentoring from Indigenous business leaders into the heart of In.Business. We have witnessed centuries of change and we have learned how to adapt to it – valuable knowledge in today’s constantly changing business environment. Our culture and values directly influence our thinking and how we solve problems. We view everything and everyone as interconnected. And, it’s unique views like these that a new generation of Indigenous business leaders will bring to the business community.

“I plan to lead my community, whether it be [on] council or through a small business.”

– Billie Julian Millbrook First Nation, NS

Empower a Culture of Success

Inspiring one person has a ripple effect. The lives we change will change the lives of many more of us. Our young leaders will bring knowledge as well energy and optimism back to their communities. We will see them influence and inspire others, start new enterprises that improve our economic outlook, and they will be engaged and active members of the community, serving on band councils and having a direct impact on the future of our peoples. This is the legacy In.Business is working create.

Between 2001-2006 Aboriginal entrepreneurs increased 3X that of the rest of Canada.

Source: Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.“A Snapshot of Aboriginal Entrepreneurs.” [2006]