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Challenges and successes with economic and business development models at the local level: the Quatsino experience

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In this case study, I examine the economic development and business development experiences of the Quatsino First Nation and make recommendations for future economic development and considerations for the development and sustainability of new businesses, including a proposed shellfish aquaculture social enterprise. I conducted semi-structured interviews with Quatsino First Nation leaders, community members and staff focused on community experiences with an economic development corporation and First Nation owned businesses, joint ventures, individually owned businesses and co-operatives. Recommendations for future economic development in Quatsino include community planning processes around long-term economic development goals and human resource development, continued use of the development corporation to separate politics and business, clear definition of its mandate and ongoing entrepreneurial capacity development. Some factors that contribute to the successful development and sustainability of new businesses in Quatsino are leadership, entrepreneurial capacity, community support, access to business development resources and individual training and commitment.
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