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We Create: Showcasing Indigenous Creativity to Support Small Businesses in Canada

The Indigenous economy in Canada is estimated to grow to $100 billion dollars by 2025, and Indigenous entrepreneurs rely on digital tools to grow their businesses and fuel this economy. Today, we’re launching the third installment of We Create to support digital-first, Indigeneous-owned businesses across Canada. Our goal is to help small businesses reach their goals by pairing them with creative and marketing professionals to drive brand creativity and growth online. 

Our latest Global State of Small Business Report revealed that digital tools have played an outsized role in generating sales for diverse-owned businesses in particular. For example, small businesses led by women used digital tools at higher rates and generated more online sales revenue. To help diverse-owned businesses adopt digital tools, we identified three Indigenous, women-owned small businesses using Meta’s business tools through our partnership with Pow Wow Pitch, a grassroots Indigenous entrepreneurship accelerator. 

Each business was partnered with Indigenous creatives across the country, including three creators, a videographer and a creative agency. Collaborating closely with Meta’s Creative Shop and marketing experts, the teams helped each business boost their marketing efforts by showing them how to build effective campaigns and create valuable content with an Instagram-first mindset.

Meet our We Create Teams

MINI TIPI (Quebec): Trisha Pitura and Mélanie Bernard founded the company in 2016 to create stylish, small-batch home and family goods inspired by their Canadian and Indigenous heritage. They’re known for their beautiful textiles, woven in tradition, and designed, cut and sewn in Gatineau, Quebec. MINI TIPI now has 16 employees and their goods are sold across Ontario and Quebec. 

Building on their success, MINI TIPI’s goal is to increase brand awareness outside of their core market of Quebec so they’re selling their products in every province and territory across Canada. Paired with creator and advocate Kendra Rosychuk and director and cinematographer Sean Stiller, the team collaborated with MINI TIPI to create a campaign that highlights the variety of products available for sale

Shades of Gray Indigenous Pet Treats (Ontario): Founded by Keri Gray, Shades of Gray Indigenous Pet Treats sells single-ingredient pet treats manufactured in Canada. The company’s goal is to share the health benefits of raw and dehydrated pet food products made with 100% meat to help pets live a healthy, long life. 

Keri is looking to differentiate Shades of Gray from their competitors and communicate their products’ unique value and benefits in an effort to reach new customers across Canada and the US. We partnered Shades of Gray with creator and storyteller Sarain Fox and branding agency Creative Fire to develop a campaign that makes pets the focus through humour and communicates product benefits in a simple way.

Standing Spruce Farm & Apothecary (British Columbia): Standing Spruce is a wellness company steeped in traditional Indigenous values and customs, founded by Lesley Assu. As one of the only Indigenous farmers in Campbell River, British Columbia, Standing Spruce carries a wide range of wildcrafted products, remedies and skin care products that are all harvested sustainably.

Lesley focuses on sharing the spiritual origins of the ingredients and the intention behind each product to establish the Standing Spruce brand with a strong story that represents her culture and the ingredients. She’s looking to expand her marketing efforts to engage a new audience – men interested in wellness and natural grooming products – by showcasing the products available tailored to them. With the help of creator and wellness advocate Shayla Stonechild and director and cinematographer Sean Stiller, Standing Spruce created a campaign that educates consumers about the methods and ingredients that make up the products so they can feel confident selecting the right product for them.

We’re launching each campaign ahead of the busy shopping season to help each business connect with new customers and drive online sales. We’ll also share an educational resource that highlights the creative process and campaign best practices in the coming weeks to help other businesses grow their digital marketing skills.

Through our ongoing work with Indigenous communities, we’ve learned how important our technologies  are for small businesses and creators. We’ll continue building products that help First Nation, Inuit and Métis people to connect to their communities, share their stories and build their businesses. 

To learn more about how to use Meta’s tools to grow your business, get started here.

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