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Pathways for Entrepreneurship

GDI’s Pathways program provides unique supports to Métis entrepreneurs who are looking to create, maintain, or expand a business. The overall goal is to increase Métis entrepreneurship and economic growth in Saskatchewan.

Applicant Eligibility:

To apply for Pathways funded supports you must:

  • Be a Métis person
  • Be a Saskatchewan Resident and have a valid Canadian SIN
  • Have barriers to self-employment or business development
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Meet eligibility and screening requirements for approval

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Direct alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis production or sales
  • Games of chance: casinos, etc.
  • Sexually explicit services and products
  • Pawnshops, cheque cashers, refinancers
  • Passive investments
  • Basic farming and ranching
  • Political bodies

Support Areas:

  1. Entrepreneurship Training – Business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs may apply for funding to take external entrepreneurial training programs*
  2. Industry Training – Existing business owners may apply for funding to take industry training leading to business growth*
  3. Professional Services – Applicants who have completed a business plan or operate an existing business may apply for professional services and consulting supports*
  4. Self- Employment Transition Allowance – New business owners can apply for a 6-month living allowance to assist with the transition to self-employment*
  5. First Sale Bonus – Applicants who have completed a business plan and have made their first sale can apply for a $500 bonus*
All applicants must be screened by GDI and all supported costs and funding must be pre-approved by GDI. Estimates will be requested when applicable. Funding may be considered as taxable income, not including professional services. *Please see support details at the bottom of this page.


*Update: GDI is currently in the process of negotiating a new funding agreement as of April 1, 2024. New funding applications will not be processed at this time until additional updates are known.

Feel free to call our office at 306-657-2290 or email entrepreneurship@gdins.org if you have any questions.


Free Resources:

Pathways for Entrepreneurship Workbook – use this book to refine your business idea and help to decide if entrepreneurship is right for you!

Upcoming Workshops:

  1. GDI is partnering with the Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF) to deliver a series of fall entrepreneurship workshops across the months of October and November 2023. Topics include utilizing AI for Social Media Success, Financial Capability, and information sessions about GDI and CCDF entrepreneurship programs. Please check out event and FREE registration details here by clicking HERE.
  2. GDI is scheduling a 6-day Social Media Certificate for Métis Entrepreneurs in partnership with Blue Moose Media. The 2023 workshop is scheduled for September 26, 27, 28, and October 24, 25, and 26, 2023, and will be held in Regina, SK. Interested applicants can email entrepreneurship@gdins.org.
  3. GDI is partnering with Keewatin Community Development Association (KCDA) and Dumont Technical Institute (DTI) to deliver a 28-week business start-up program starting October 2023 – April 2024. Please check out the details by clicking HERE

Support Details and Examples:

Are you interested in taking training related to entrepreneurship, marketing, bookkeeping, or other areas to develop or grow your business? GDI may assist in funding tuition, books, and other costs associated with training. A living allowance may be applicable when attending in-class training. In-province and/or for-credit training programs are prioritized.

Are you a current business owner looking to attend industry training to expand and strengthen your business? For example, a self-employed welder may need safety ticket training or additional welding certifications to expand service offerings. GDI may assist in funding tuition, books, and other costs associated with training on a case-by-case basis. A living allowance may be applicable when attending training.

  • GDI may fund 100% of total tuition costs up to a maximum of $10,000 per client per year. Clients must be a current business owner (partial Métis business owners are eligible). Employees are not eligible.
  • A copy of a professionally completed business plan must be submitted to access industry training.
  • Maximum length of client training program is 1 year (52 weeks).
  • Applicants usually need to have a history of operating the business to be eligible for industry training funding.
  • Industry training is not intended for applicants who have no prior industry experience or self-employment experience. You will be advised to apply as a regular sponsored GDI individual client.
    • For example: an applicant wants to take hairstylist training and open a salon in the next 5 years. This client will be advised to apply for regular GDI OST (occupational skills training) funding, and will be advised to gain on-the-job experience prior to applying to the Pathways program. Existing self-employed hairstylists may apply for this funding if training will expand product or service offerings.

Business professionals and consultants can greatly enhance the ability for businesses to be successful and profitable. Business decisions and strategies often require the involvement of a skilled professional.

  • GDI may fund 100% of approved professional services up to a maximum of $10,000 per client, per lifetime.
  • Applicants must supply a professional business plan and be operational/nearly operational.
  • The professional services provider must be a neutral third-party, and not related to the applicant.
  • Applicants must submit estimates prior to approval. Services rendered prior to approval are NOT eligible.
  • This funding is not intended to be used as start-up capital.
    • Example: An applicant wants to buy used furniture and resell online. They have no revenue to date and want to develop an e-commerce platform to resell the furniture. In this case, the client has no business plan or sales history. This situation is not eligible for professional services funding.

Examples of eligible professional services may include:

  • First-year financial statements
  • Bookkeeping consulting
  • Accounting consulting
  • Social media consulting
  • Website development/consulting
  • Management consulting
  • Sales and marketing consulting
  • Legal consulting
  • General business consulting
  • Business valuation

Professional Services that are not eligible include:

  • Franchise fees
  • Engineering/architecture/design fees
  • Fees including software and supplies or tangible assets
  • Advertising expenditures

Undercapitalization is a common problem for new businesses and start-ups, as positive cash flows are minimal or non-existent. If you have completed a professional business plan and secured financial commitment (if required), you may be eligible to receive a transition allowance for up to 26 weeks.

  • To be eligible, applicants must be starting their first business, and must be transitioning to self-employment
  • Clients must provide a professionally completed business plan, letters of financial support/commitment, and must complete an action plan
  • Applicants who are receiving EI benefits are not eligible (applicants will be advised to stay on EI until they are no longer eligible to receive EI benefits)
  • Clients must not work not working externally in excess of 25 hours per week.
  • For partnerships and incorporated businesses, a maximum of one Métis business owner is eligible for the transition allowance.
  • The start-up business must be a full-time business and not a casual business
  • Funding amounts vary from $250-$400 per week, depending on applicant’s number of dependants

GDI may provide applicants who are starting their first business $500 when they make their fist customer sale.

  • Client must provide a copy of a sales receipt
  • Bonus is only available to applicants who are creating a brand new business
  • Bonus is payable to the applying Métis business owner
  • Applicant must have a completed business plan
Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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