Since 2014, the Ministry of Trade and Export Development has supported Advanced Business Match (ABM), a networking event that maximizes business opportunities for Indigenous people in Saskatchewan. Led by Raven Events, this innovative trade show connects businesses and investors to First Nations and Métis entrepreneurs and economic development organizations.
Prior to each event, participants create online profiles through the ABM website. Attendees then view these profiles and book meetings with those who fit their business interests. Indigenous organizations and businesses make up one side of each match, with companies that exhibit on the other side. This unique tradeshow-style format allows attendees to meet with several prospective partners, investors or buyers in one day, and lay the foundation for future business deals.
Raven Events approached ministry staff in 2014 for assistance in hosting their first ABM event in Saskatchewan. Since then, the event has grown each year to the point where it is an important contributor to Indigenous economic growth in the province. According to 2018 survey results, 99 per cent of those who attended ABM events established new contacts, and 1 in 5 attendees identified possible business deals. In 2019, the Ministry of Trade and Export Development provided $10,000 in sponsorship for the organization's flagship event, ABM Indigenous: Prairies, attended by more than 160 people in February in Regina.
Many of the participating companies come from outside of Saskatchewan, with an existing operating presence in the province or an interest in establishing one. These range from large companies (500+ employees) to smaller ones (less than 50 employees), and represent opportunities in various sectors such as:
- Renewable energy;
- Mining; and
These opportunities generate revenue, create jobs for Indigenous people and improve the economic and social well-being of Saskatchewan communities. Each event is an annual partnership between Raven Events and several organizations. In 2019, these partners included the Clarence Campeau Development Fund, FHQ Developments, the Yorkton Tribal Council, Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation, Economic Development Regina, and the Ministry of Trade and Export Development.
For more information, visit www.advancedbusinessmatch.com.
Source: Ministry of Trade and Export Development