The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund (AEDF) is investing $25 million over three years in Indigenous businesses and communities. The AEDF is a program of the Jobs & Prosperity Fund, a 10-year, $2.5 billion fund that helps Ontario compete to attract new business and form partnerships to secure investments that focus on job-creating innovation, productivity and going global.
A funding stream of the AEDF, the Regional Partnership Grant (‘Stream 3’) is designed to support regional and province-wide projects that improve access to financing, employment and training. Regional Partnership Grants support key ‘building blocks’ of successful economic development through strategic investments on a regional or province-wide scale with a focus on improving skills training opportunities (particularly on-reserve) and facilitating access to financing for promising projects. In order to be eligible, projects must provide or contribute to significant economic benefits to Indigenous people and communities (e.g., employment, training and/or business opportunities) at a regional or province-wide level. Grants support new projects as well as the ‘scaling up’ of existing projects that have showed promise at a local level and have the potential for success at a regional or province-wide level.