Economic Reconciliation Award Recognizes Indigenous Advancement of Cultural Entrepreneurship (IACE) Program

May 6, 2022, Victoria, BC – The Indigenous Advancement of Cultural Entrepreneurship program (I-ACE) has been recognized once again for the impact of its entrepreneurship training, and received the 2022 Economic Reconciliation Award (>20,000 population) from the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA). 

These awards recognize BCEDA members for outstanding work in supporting their local economies, and making a meaningful difference in their communities. This is the first year BCEDA recognized partnerships, agreements and activities that advance shared reconciliation work with a new Economic Reconciliation award category.

Developed by Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP) and the Gustavson School of Business, I-ACE is invited into communities to deliver culturally sensitive and community-tailored entrepreneurship training. Since its first cohort in 2013, I-ACE has seen more than 700 graduates complete the program, with nearly 300 businesses launched.

"Over nine years ago we were invited by TRICORP to co-create and deliver the I-ACE program,” said Dr. Brent Mainprize, Gustavson teaching professor and co-founder and director of I-ACE. “Today it is an honour for the I-ACE program to be recognized with the 2022 Economic Reconciliation Award by the BC Economic Development Association. This award is validation that the graduates of the I-ACE program are creating a solid economic future for themselves, their families and their communities throughout BC.”

I-ACE is the only program of its kind in Canada, providing future entrepreneurs with skills, knowledge and mentorship to foster economic development without foregoing traditional Indigenous values. Over the years, the program and its graduates have been recognized and awarded at regional, national and international levels for the ongoing work and entrepreneurial achievements.