About Indigenous ACE

The I-ACE Program provides prospective entrepreneurs with the skills, knowledge, and mentorship needed to successfully start and manage a business, serve the community with confidence, and foster economic development, by enhancing and leveraging Indigenous values.

What we do

The Indigenous ACE Programs delivers culturally sensitive and community tailored entrepreneurship education to support the full participation of Indigenous individuals in the Canadian economy through business ownership. Indigenous ACE was designed by a collaborative team of Indigenous and industry leaders, accomplished business professionals, and distinguished educators from the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. The Program is breaking down the barriers of access to education through in-community delivery by our diverse and experienced faculty.


What makes us different

Real World Learning
Learn useful knowledge and valuable skills that are applicable in real-life scenarios happening in the business world.
Applied & Interactive
The program is delivered with an effective balance of cutting-edge concepts, relevant activities, and exercises to advance your business.
Delivered in Your Community
There is no need to travel and attend universities in urban centres. The I-ACE Program brings world-class entrepreneurship education to your community.
Cultural Advantage
The design of the I-ACE Program is rooted in Indigenous culture to covey and anchor business concepts in an appropriate way.
Tailored Mentorship & Coaching
Our faculty and mentors provide focused guidance, specific to the challenges and needs of your personal, professional, and business development.
Practical Courses
The courses in the program focus on practical skills and provide the knowledge and skills needed to run a business.
become a part of


The I-ACE Program began as a vision of Frank Parnell's, CEO of Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP) (left). Frank invited Dr. Brent Mainprize from the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria (right) to co-design the ACE Program.
In 2013, TRICORP invited the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria to be the key education delivery partner for the ACE Programs. Also in 2013, the first Northwest ACE (NW-ACE) cohort was launched and completed in Prince Rupert. 2014 was marked by the second program of ACE to begin in Haida Gwaii. 
Two years later, the ACE Program continued to create new programs while simultaneously receiving international recognition. The partnership between TRICORP, the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, Indigenous communities, and governments remains strong as the program continues to grow. This growth was most prevalent in 2018 when the ACE Program received $1 million in funding from BMO. 2019 continued along the path of growth as three new locations began their first cohorts of ACE programs.

This trend continued into 2020 as the ACE Program entered the new decade by re-branding as Indigenous Advancement of Cultural Entrepreneurship. While maintaining the same award-winning program, Indigenous ACE evolved with a new logo, name, and online learning platform.
Where the program takes place
The Indigenous ACE Program takes place in Indigenous communities across British Columbia and Western Canada.
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