MNO President Gary Lipinski, MNO Chair France Picotte and Senator Ray Bergie at the
MNO Business Forum on March 30, 2012 in Toronto
The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) held a Métis Business Forum on March 30 in Toronto. The Forum attracted over 30 business owners, entrepreneurs, and officials from the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-status Indians and the Aboriginal Business Development Program.
“The MNO wants to help provide Métis businesses with tools that will help them succeed,” explained MNO President Gary Lipinski, “because encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of our people is a priority.” Each participant attending the Business Forum received a copy of a “Métis Business Tool Kit” including information that every entrepreneur needs to establish and maintain a business. Participants heard from Steven Morse, the Chief Executive Officer of the Métis Voyageur Development Fund; Fizul Sima, with the Aboriginal Business Development Program; and, Jason Li, with City of Toronto Economic Development. Each described how their organizations could assist Métis businesses.
Bill Zakarow, Director of Procurement for the 2015 Toronto Pan/Para PanAm Summer Games, spoke about procurement opportunities and how Métis businesses can benefit by supplying goods and services to these multi-million dollar games. Peter Smith, President of the Commerce Assessment Group, provided training in sales and marketing, and Leslie Roberts, the President of the GoForth Institute, presented on the importance of business people having strong mentors.
Presentations from two successful Métis business owners were highlights of the event. Roger Lauzon, owner of Techno Metal Post, and Claude and Rick Seguin, of SRC Mining, shared their insights and experience. Both businesses exemplify success for Métis people looking to start their own businesses.
The MNO has recently posted a Métis business directory on the MNO website. An electronic version of the Métis Business Tool Kit is also available on the website. Both can be accessed at /programs/economic-development