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CESO grows businesses with young Indigenous entrepreneurs

David Brazeau, Communications and Engagement Director (Toronto) March 25, 2019

Click here for printable PDF version of the press release

March 25, 2019 — CESO has many recent success stories adding to its long history of growing businesses and developing communities in partnership with Indigenous people and organizations.

“Our goal is to build a full tourism business that offers multiple, all-season activities, specializing in our Dene way of life,” says Jocelyn Skeard, 28, of Wrigley, Northwest Territories. “Some of the activities we would like to offer are river tours, hiking, wildlife viewing in the warmer season, and aurora viewing, skiing and snowshoeing during the winter.”

In the last few months, she has developed a strategic business plan to turn her idea to reality thanks to her drive and the mentoring of Susan Haddon, CESO expert Volunteer Advisor (VA).

Credits: Amy Kennedy

“As a young Indigenous woman who wants to help my community through my entrepreneurship, CESO’s support was something I honestly didn’t know I needed,” says Jacquelyn Cardinal, 28, founder and managing director of Naheyawin – a strategic communications agency.

“What I hadn’t expected was that for the year of mentorship I was given, I felt bolder and braver to take steps I may not have without my CESO mentor supporting me,” she says. Since her mentorship with Robert MacKie, CESO expert VA, Cardinal has transformed her business from a digital communications agency to a larger consulting agency. Naheyawin is focused on incorporating Indigenous knowledge and design into business practices of private and public sector organizations.

There are several recent examples of such CESO success stories with Indigenous entrepreneurs on its web section.

CESO President and CEO Wendy Harris says, “We work in partnership with Indigenous people to enhance community capacity and grow businesses to create strong, sustainable local economies. Our experts coach and mentor local entrepreneurs and clients enabling them to thrive long after our assignments are complete.”

Stacia Kean, Director, Indigenous Services at CESO, says, “There is a need and appetite for economic growth in Indigenous communities, especially among younger people. Our seasoned experts in business and government are filling that demand with young Indigenous entrepreneurs. We know from experience that these new success stories will inspire more young people to pursue their dreams. Our team of experts are motivated to make that happen,” Kean adds.

CESO’s approach is to enhance what’s already in the community – ideas, resources, talents and knowledge, by harnessing CESO’s vast network of exceptional expert VAs.

The CESO team

CESO Indigenous Services team is made up of diverse individuals of staff, expert VAs and board members, whose collective goal is to enhance lives and livelihoods of Indigenous communities across Canada.

Kean says, “Our staff work hard to reach out to communities, listen to them and help them identify solutions to their challenges. Our board members are invested in connecting us to a larger network to grow our work with Indigenous communities, ensuring that our reach goes beyond where we’re at currently.”

Harris adds, “Our successful collaborations with Indigenous communities are a source of inspiration and pride among CESO’s team of expert volunteers, staff and board members.”

To find out more about CESO Indigenous Services, its experts and projects they can help you with, please visit


About Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO)

CESO is an international economic development engine growing sustainable, inclusive businesses, and strengthening government infrastructure. CESO deploys its experts to communities, partners, governments and people starting or growing their businesses around the world and in Canada. A not-for-profit organization since 1967, CESO’s experts are volunteer advisors who devote their time and energy toward economic and social change in more than 450 assignments each year.
CESO thanks and gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and our private-sector supporters.


David Brazeau
Director of Communications and Engagement

Kim Jose
Communications and Engagement Officer
514-789-5808 1-800-268-9052
Canadian Executive Service Organization CESO | SACO is a registered charity (BN 11883 0850 RR 0001), with no political or religious affiliations. Copyright CESO-SACO 2019 • All Rights Reserved
CESO thanks and gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and our private-sector supporters.
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