Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is widely considered to be one of Canada’s most pressing social justice issues. A major piece in the reconciliation agenda is the pursuit of “economic reconciliation.” This means giving Indigenous peoples – who traditionally had highly developed commercial practices and networks – the opportunity to take control over their own economic development and destiny. Education, specifically in business and entrepreneurship, will be a key prerequisite in the quest for economic reconciliation.
The Indigenous Entrepreneurship diploma features courses taught by Indigenous instructors and supports students with an incubator and a community of mentors with deeply held expertise in entrepreneurship, social innovation and community service learning. The curriculum is based on case studies drawn from Indigenous businesses and includes technical content unique to Indigenous entrepreneurs, such as joint ventures, procurement policies, Indigenous economic development corporations, and tax and governance issues.
Diploma in Indigenous Entrepreneurship (IndEnt)
The six-course Diploma in Indigenous Entrepreneurship (IndEnt) is open to students registered in any University of Waterloo degree program. Students may register for the IndEnt Diploma in their second year of study or at any time thereafter. The Diploma is also available to non-degree students with a demonstrated record of success in post-secondary study. Thanks to a generous grant from the NCR Foundation, we will begin in September of 2023 to offer the Diploma through distance-education technology in collaboration with institutional partners across the country.
To meet the requirements for the Diploma, students must complete six designated academic courses with a minimum cumulative average of 65% in accordance with the curriculum below.
The existing curriculum of the IndEnt Diploma requires students to complete five required courses and one elective:
- Five required courses
- INDENT 200, The Past, Present, and Future of Indigenous Entrepreneurship
- INDENT 210, Fundamentals of Indigenous Entrepreneurship
- INDENT 225, Practicum in Indigenous Entrepreneurship 1
- INDENT 310, Case Studies in Indigenous Venture Creation
- INDENT 325, Practicum in Indigenous Entrepreneurship 2
- One of the following approved electives
- ECON 100, Principles of Economics
- ECON 101, Introduction to Microeconomics
- INDENT 320, Indigenous Economic Development Corporations
- ERS 275, Indigenous Sustainability Entrepreneurship
- INDG 201, The Indigenous Experience in Canada
- INDG 272, Issues in Contemporary Indigenous Communities in Canada
- INDG 301, Theories of Indigeneity in Global Perspective
- INDG 318, Critical Theories of Indigeneity in a Global Perspective
- HIST 269, Aboriginal History of Canada (offered annually)
- HIST 271, Global Indigenous Issues
- ENVS 401, Aboriginal Law and Natural Resource Development
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible to register?
- Anyone who has successfully completed a full year of study at an accredited Canadian college or university with an average of 65% or better.
- Is the program online or in-person?
- It's both! Instruction is delivered by video-conferencing from Waterloo to clusters of students in different locations who work together in teams in person.
- Is the program full-time?
- Students complete three courses per semester. This meets the definition of full-time study for student aid purposes, but it is lighter than the standard five-course load at university, leaving you ample time for a part-time job or other activities.
- How is the program designed to support student success?
- The program begins with a course that celebrates the long history of Indigenous excellence in entrepreneurship and the unique features in the Indigenous approach to doing business.
- Indigenous instructors, who are successful entrepreneurs, provide excellent role models.
- Students will "see themselves" in the curriculum thanks to our newly developed Indigenous business case studies.
- Students receive support and motivation through partnerships with local Indigenous student centres.
- Are there scholarships available?
- Students enrolled in the diploma program are eligible to apply for the JP Gladu Scholarship in Indigenous Entrepreneurship. These scholarships cover the full tuition fee. (average of 75% required for full ride scholarship)
Please contact us for more information.