As a nation, Canada has come to an inflection point in its relationship to Indigenous people. After movements like Idle No More, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Canada’s 150 Celebrations, we cannot continue to ignore the injustice and cruelty that have marred our history, nor the effects they’ve had on our current state. Reconciliation has become a household word, but the system has thus far remained rigged against Indigenous success.
Indigenous people in Canada are now struggling to remove impediments to economic inclusion, growth, and wealth. We are working uphill against structural hurdles, legislative barriers (like the Indian Act), policy, and regulatory barriers to moving into a reconciliation economy.
Because of these barriers, Indigenous entrepreneurs who work hard to get ahead don’t have access to the same resources as their non-Indigenous counterparts. Indigenous entrepreneurs cannot, or do not want to, access traditional capital, which slows down growth. They do not have capacity-building support or expertise in their communities, even though their entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. Economic reconciliation is a non-starter, as Indigenous entrepreneurs are rarely able to scale their businesses, even if they have strong ideas and product offerings.
Raven Indigenous Capital Partners was founded as a solution to this oft-seen problem. We use existing structures - impact investing and strong relationships in the Indigenous community - to breathe life into a re-emerging Indigenous economy. Our namesake, the Raven, is central to rebirth and transformation in Indigenous cultures. We endeavour to use the element of transformation in our work, creating an equitable and prosperous future for Indigenous peoples in Canada.
We Build Strong Business Foundations
Our team works with entrepreneurs to ensure that they are investment-ready. We point them to the resources they need to build strong business models and product offerings.
We Provide Bespoke Technical Assistance
Every social enterprise is different and has different needs, so we customize our approach to each entrepreneur.
We Broker Win-Win Relationships
Our managing partners have worked extensively with the Indigenous community in Canada. We give social entrepreneurs the opportunity to access the resources they need from someone they trust, while giving investors the opportunity to invest in competitive returns and long-term social and environmental impact.
Jeffrey CyrManaging Partner
For nearly 20 years, Jeffrey Cyr has provided strategic leadership for Indigenous, not-for-profit and government organizations. Mr. Cyr is currently active in supporting Indigenous social innovation and building Indigenous social finance mechanisms in Canada. Mr. Cyr was recently selected to be a 2019 Ashoka Fellow.
Paul Lacerte, OBCManaging Partner
Paul Lacerte has provided innovative leadership to Indigenous organizations throughout his career. He is the former Vice-Chair of the Vancouver Foundation Board of Directors, the former Board Chair for Reconciliation Canada, and a former representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He was awarded the Order of BC in 2014.
Stephen NairneChief Investment Officer
Stephen Nairne served as the Lundin Foundation’s Managing Director since 2007. The Foundation provides "fit for purpose" capital to innovative, scalable SMEs and social enterprises in the areas of agriculture, financial inclusion, and access to energy. He serves on the Advisory Board of several SME funds and companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.