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 June 11 until 2:00 PM Local Time, August 31, 2018.

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

Step 1: Create a user account

Log in to the online application portal

As part of the submission, applicants will be required to provide:

  • background on project partners
  • letters showing current support for the project
  • a project summary including expected outcomes, objectives, milestones and timelines
  • measures of success
  • an overview of project risks
  • a budget including quotes

Step 2: Fill out and submit the online application form

Fill out and submit the form electronically through the online application portal during an active application intake period.

Step 3: Mail in three (3) hard copies

Three (3) hard copies of your business plan and all supporting documents must be submitted by mail before the application deadline to:

Alberta Indigenous Relations
Attention: “Aboriginal Initiatives-ABIF”
19th Floor, Commerce Place, 10155 – 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 4G8


Still have questions about the ABIF program? Send your questions to IR.economicdevelopment@gov.ab.ca.