Entrepreneur story - Boreal Workshop
October 31, 2020

At North Forge East, we have a lot of great entrepreneurs and startups. One of ours is Boreal Workshop.

Founder and CEO of Boreal Workshop, Tanis Thomas, is constantly looking at ways to improve, grow, and expand. There is no shortage of ideas and knowledge to continue running her successful business. Raising a family as well as working as an Indigenous Woman entrepreneur is not easy; however, Tanis always has a passion and has a big, long term vision for the business. “ITAC (Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada) funding is a great fit for Boreal Workshop. “It fuels the growth engine of our business,” said Thomas in a statement. ITAC focuses on marketing, product development support, and creating partnerships between associations, organizations, government departments and industry leaders from across Canada to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Canada.

There are currently only two companies in Manitoba that have been accepted for this grant in Phase Five Funding, and approximately fifty others in Canada. “Investing in safety protocol implementation in the workshop as well as implementing a marketing plan in tandem with investing in R&D related to product designs for the tourist market are the primary areas the grant will assist with,” says Thomas. She was notified about this grant via LinkedIn while it was in the grant intake period back in April 2020.

In order to qualify for the grant, you have to be at least 51% owned by Indigenous Entrepreneurs, Indigenous Communities, or Economic Development Corporations. Shane Li, President of North Forge East, met with Tanis to review her recovery plan and criteria. After the meeting, Tanis was strongly encouraged to apply for the grant as this will help with avoiding any further financial loss due to the unforeseen future with COVID-19. Thomas refused to let COVID-19 ruin her business and looked further into the supports around her. She was also able to refine her business strategy, and secure alternate sources of revenue and funding to keep the continual operation of her company, Boreal Workshop, during the slowdown of COVID-19.

Tanis Thomas, founder and CEO of Boreal Workshop

I am thrilled that the opportunity to continue working within the tourism market has materialized, and I look forward to working with ITAC in this and future endeavours. The support of North Forge East and industry advocacy organizations like ITAC assist in providing entrepreneurs the ability to develop and implement businesses in non-urban areas, and my business’ measured growth demonstrates this. Miigwetch, kinanasko’mitin, thank you to ITAC and North Forge East”, says Thomas. North Forge East is dedicated to assisting with business strategy, challenges within the business, corporate finance, legal support, etc.

If you are looking to be an entrepreneur and build a high growth, scalable business, please visit https://www.northforgeeast.ca/ to apply today!

For all things ITAC, please visit their website, https://indigenoustourism.ca/corporate/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/20-09-Grant-Funding-Summary-Phase-5-EN-v5.pdf

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