Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE)

The ACE Program is excited to bring top-class, personalized entrepreneurial education to your community, made possible through the work of our program partners.


Aboriginal Graduating Entrepreneurs


New Businesses Started


Aboriginal Communities


Completed Cohorts


Completing Business Plans and Seeking Funding


Hours of Teaching Delivery and One on One Mentorship to Date


During the ACE Program, students engage in 5 interactive courses tailored to their individual needs and interests in preparation of owning and operating a business.

Cultural Advantage

The design of the ACE Program is founded on Indigenous culture to convey and anchor business concepts in an appropriate way. Learn about the 7S’s of the ACE Program Curriculum.

Tailored Mentorship & Coaching

Our university faculty and mentors provide focused guidance specific to the challenges and needs of your personal, professional and business development. Learn about ACE Program faculty.

Practical Courses

The ACE program offers a sense of practicality in the courses offered.


Delivered in Your Community

Upon invitation, the ACE Program brings world-class business and entrepreneurial education to your community. There is no need to travel and attend universities in urban centres. View ACE Program locations.

Applied & Interactive

The ACE Program is delivered with an effective balance of cutting-edge concepts and fun, exciting and relevant activities and exercises to advance your business. Learn about ACE Program courses.

Real World Learning

Learn about valuable skills that are applicable in real-time scenarios are real world businesses.

An Overview & Our Mission


Many people wonder whether they have the knowledge it takes to start and run their own business, and if it might be the right move for them. Other people are looking for resources to make the transition from business idea into business ownership, or to improve the enterprise they own or manage already in operation. At ACE, we work with entrepreneurs to prepare them to take the next step in their professional journey. More About the ACE Program


The ACE Program is honoured to have the opportunity to work with you as you earn your entrepreneurial wings. We set out to understand the needs and interests of each student through coaching and mentorship while providing experiential learning through an innovative curriculum so you are prepared to own and operate your own business. 

Learn More



(NW-ACE™) is a partnership between Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP) and the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business.

Phone: 1-250-600-6131
 [email protected]

Ace for Artists

The Artist-based Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs™ (A-ACE) is a fully funded Artist Summer Residency Program of interest to practicing Aboriginal Artists in BC. Completion of the A-ACE program provides a credit path with advanced standing in Coast Mountain College.

Phone: 1-250-615-2616
 [email protected]


LD-ACE is the sister program to the NW-ACE running in Northern BC.

Phone: 1-250-328-4993
 d[email protected]

Haida Owned and Operated

Haida Owned and Operated is an ACE™ program designed and delivered on Haida Gwaii.

Phone: 1-250-637-1856
 [email protected]

Nisga'a ACE

The Nisga’a Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs™ (Nisga’a-ACE) is the right program at the right time with the right partner.

Phone: 1-250-600-6131


Xeláltxw (Halalt) is a small vibrant community with opportunities to develop a thriving Indigenous tourism economy; strengthening community by sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences.
Phone: 250-709-2929

E-mail: [email protected]


The ACE-IT Program, adapted from the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneur (ACE) Program and delivered by the University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business (UVicGSB), is designed with a strong focus on balancing cutting-edge concepts with practical, experiential learning to explore entrepreneurship in a meaningful and culturally appropriate way. 
Phone: 250-328-4993

E-mail: [email protected]

What do the alumni say?

“I’ve had the dream of starting a bakery for 20+ years and I am finally taking that next big step to work for myself and for my family. The NW-ACE program helped me tremendously in giving me the push I needed to make my dream a reality…the faculty is just astronomical in everything they have brought to us and to me.”

-Leona Ridley, NW-ACE Graduate

“I’ve had an amazing experience in the ACE Program. I’ve learned so much about improving my skills as an entrepreneur and when I came into this program I came in with a small idea for my business but it’s really helped me to mature as a business person but also my idea became even bigger than it originally was…the relationships that I was able to build will be long lasting and the experience and help that I got from the professors is going to help me in my life for the business both professionally and personally.”

-Dana Foster, NW-ACE Graduate

If you want to learn how to use your interests, skills and passion to discover and develop a business concept that best fits who you are, then the ACE Program is for you. You’ll develop and validate your business concept using the latest tools and strategies. You’ll gain experience using marketing and financing plans that target the right market with the right strategy and messaging at the right time. Work one-on-one with instructors and meet successful entrepreneurs as you gain real-world insight that you can apply to your business while balancing cash, community, and culture.

 Use Lean Startup methodology to understand your target customer.

 Gain experience using market research tools and techniques to build and validate a sustainable business model.

Create a marketing plan that reaches target customers.

 Gain experience working and managing projects in a team through interactive, real-world activities.

 Use financial statements and tools as you build your experience managing finances.

 Solve real world case studies regarding core business issues.

Skills Development

Students accelerate their entrepreneurial skills as they work together to develop high performance teams.


The ACE Program educates, engages, and empowers new entrepreneurs to accelerate their success.


The ACE Program focuses on working with students as they develop their leadership skills and strategic thinking to impact their community and culture.

Cutting-Edge Tools

New entrepreneurs are using the latest entrepreneurial development tools compiled with Indigenous culture and ways of knowing and doing.

Meet the Faculty

World Class Expertise and Experience Available to You

Whether you need help identifying opportunities to fund a new idea, protecting your intellectual property or creating a business plan, let us help you. Obtain the guidance of seasoned professionals and faculty who have successfully started companies based on their university research. Identify opportunities across disciplines to leverage the value of research and intellectual property. Join the ACE Program’s unique culture of impact, in which faculty act as mentors to help you along your journey of entrepreneurship.

Brent Mainprize

Brent Mainprize

ACE Program Director

“It is a tremendous honour to be invited into an Aboriginal Community to deliver education. By going into communities, the NW-ACE Program has taken a new approach to ensuring success. We are customizing the courses and building what the communities want, an approach that is unique among Canadian business schools, offering Aboriginal education programs on their terms in their territory.”

Heather Ranson

Heather Ranson


“There is personal transformation that goes on during the program, and it makes me proud to see the progress that each participant makes during the program…the guest speakers, panelists, local business owners who are part of the students’ research all build a supportive network for entrepreneurship in the community.”

Ready to get started?

Get in touch, or join the program today.