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- An empirically justified theory of successful indigenous entrepreneurship
- Kayseas, Robert; Hindle, Kevin; Anderson, Robert B.
- There is an abundant and rapidly growing literature-books, professional reports, government studies, academic treatises, and news articles-reporting on the current circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the historical development which produced those circumstances. Anderson (2001: 1) has characterized the social and economic circumstances of many Indigenous communities as 'abysmal'. Frideres and Gadacz (2001: 90) have also reported very alarming conditions in relation to the socio-economic status of Indigenous people across Canada. Frideres and Gadacz describe four factors; income, labour force participation, occupational status, and education as key indicators of the quality of life a given segment of society. Indigenous Canadians living on reserves rely more on government transfers; earn less employment income; have a lower labour force participation rate than other Canadians; and are largely excluded from the benefits of education. Armstrong (1999: 5) refers to level of schooling, employment rate, income level, and housing as indicators of wellbeing. He concludes that 32 percent of all registered Indigenous people in Canada are below average in all categories. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP 1996: 2) summarizes the contrasts between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people in Canada: life expectancy is lower; illness is more common; human problems, from family violence to alcohol abuse, are more common; fewer children graduate from high school; far fewer go on to colleges and universities; the homes of Indigenous people are more often flimsy, leaky, and overcrowded; and fewer Indigenous people have jobs. A recent Canadian study examined ten First Nation community's development strategies. A general consensus was found to exist that holds that economic self-sufficiency would only be achieved through the establishment and growth of businesses within their community's (Loizides & Wutunee, 2005, 1). In his study of Aboriginal entrepreneurship in British Columbia McBride also observed the increasing use of entrepreneurship as a means of creating wealth, jobs, lessening the dependency on government funding and to increase control over their future (McBride, 2004). Another recent study found that the costs of moving a business idea from the conceptual stage to reality is six times higher ”on-reserve” than it is ”off-reserve” (Fiscal Realities, 1999, 1). Indigenous leaders have long realized the need to remedy these circumstances. They have recognized the complete and utter failure of the social welfare system that was imposed upon them. And, today, many Indigenous leaders have initiated efforts to break this cycle of dependency. The authors are embarking on a program of research in an effort to understand Indigenous entrepreneurship in Canada and to inform the process.
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- Conference abstract
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- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Business and Enterprise. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship
- Proceedings Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2007: 4th International Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 06-09 February 2007, pp. 160-161
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- Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, Swinburne University of Technology
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- This paper copyright © 2007 The Authors. Proceedings copyright © 2007 Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship. Published version of this paper reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher.
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