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  • Kelly Crews

Obstacles For Indigenous Women

Updated: Sep 1, 2018

How to gain momentum

Indigenous women pursuing entrepreneurship face many challenges, but they have inspiring resilience and ability to overcome the obstacles put in their way. The most significant barriers preventing Indigenous women from pursuing entrepreneurship are as follows: • inability to qualify for a loan from mainstream financial institutions due to • lack of property to use for collateral • lack of access to capital for equity • lack of credit • inability to work full time in their business • lack of education • lack of confidence • lack of access to male-dominated fields, such as construction • diversity of circumstances To effectively help Indigenous women pursue entrepreneurship, it is important to understand these barriers.


Indigenous women’s entrepreneurship has the potential to transform communities. Entrepreneurship allows Indigenous women to achieve financial independence and stability, while elevating others in the community. Nevertheless, persistent barriers—such as lack of equity, credit, confidence and financial literacy—discourage and, in too many cases, prevent Indigenous women from pursuing entrepreneurship. Having women at the center of any program’s design will help ensure that the initiative reflects the unique needs of Indigenous women. Because financing is the most persistent problem, we believe that establishing a dedicated fund for Indigenous women’s entrepreneurship, managed by an Indigenous woman, will be a significant step toward ensuring that starting a business is not out of reach for any Indigenous woman. Although this initial research has revealed many promising opportunities to reduce these barriers, many important questions still need to be answered. We can only address such questions if the voices of Indigenous women are central to the discourse and to the development of new approaches. We believe that ensuring all Indigenous women have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs is a national and global imperative.




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