Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF)

The Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF) program is a Government of Alberta (GoA) approach to improving social and economic outcomes for Indigenous communities by building partnerships and investing in economic opportunities.

The ABIF provides funding to capitalize community-owned business development opportunities. The program offers direct investment into eligible Indigenous community-owned businesses. ABIF is intended for capital projects that are close to starting operations or breaking ground for building projects within the funding year. The projects must demonstrate long-term impacts as follows:

  • increase the number of Indigenous community-owned businesses;
  • increase the number of employment opportunities for Indigenous people;
  • create or increase local revenue streams for Indigenous communities; and
  • strengthen the economies of Indigenous communities.

An Indigenous community can only submit one ABIF application and business plan for consideration in any given funding year. Funding allocation is based on project evaluation against the scoring criteria and awarded on a competitive ranking.

For complete details and submission requirements, please see the ABIF Application Guidelines 


Eligible applicants for the ABIF are Indigenous communities or corporate entities owned by Indigenous communities located in Alberta:

  • Corporate entities must be in good standing.
  • Applicants must be in compliance with the terms and conditions of any previous Indigenous Relations funding.

Application deadline

  • This call for submissions will be open from May 15 until 2:00PM Local Time, August 31, 2017.

Funding levels

ABIF will provide a minimum of $150,000 and a maximum of $750,000 to support a community-owned economic development project. See ABIF Application Guidelines for details.

ABIF can cover up to 100% of eligible project costs, up to our limit, and can be stacked with other government and industry funding sources.

Application review

The ABIF program follows a competitive application process. Application evaluation will take place in two phases. A preliminary assessment by a cross-ministry panel will screen complete applications based on the evaluation criteria. The top twelve projects that meet all the requirements and demonstrate potential for financial viability will proceed for a full assessment, which involves scoring applications by an external and independent business assessor and consider the following:

  1. Demonstrated community support for the project (a Council Resolution must be included) and other supporting documentation
  2. The potential for generating net economic benefit (jobs and community revenue)
  3. Demonstrated management capacity and business expertise in relation to the project
  4. Demonstrated balance of own-source equity, commercial financing and grant funding
  5. Long-term viability of the proposed business opportunity
  6. Potential for project to generate spin-off business opportunities

How to apply

Download the documents below and follow the instructions in the Guidelines.

Downloading Instructions: The ABIF Application form is fillable and works best with Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. For Google Chrome, please follow these instructions.

A submission package includes the following completed documents:

  • Duly signed ABIF Application Form and a detailed business plan;
  • Submission checklist;
  • Council Resolution, Band Council Resolution, or board letter of support for the project;
  • Accompanying documents as per project need.
  • Current Aboriginal Business Investment Fund Application Form.
  • NOTE: Must have Adobe version 11 to fill out and save the application properly.

Please refer to the submission checklist  in the application and guidelines to ensure that the application is complete.