Nunavut logo – From words to WORK

Seven Steps to help you

You Should Know

Despite the challenges, business start-ups in Nunavut have increased by 50 per cent since 1999. This reflects the desire of both Inuit and non-Inuit entrepreneurs to participate in Nunavut’s rapidly growing economy.

In Nunavut, there are specific niches where opportunity may exist within specific industries: mining, arts & crafts, tourism, the fishery, transportation and retail. Find your niche, and decide what will make your business special for your customers.

Risk is an essential part of business, and that’s what makes success so satisfying. That’s because there is no guarantee of business success – the possibility that your business may lose money or fail is always present. You reduce the level of risk by doing your research and taking care with your expenses and finances.

Customer loyalty is the behavior that customers exhibit when they make repeat purchases. If customers receive good service and a quality product they will likely continue to do business with you in the future.

Economic development officers (EDOS) are a useful source of information and support for local business, and one of the first people you should talk to about your business idea. Economic development officers are located in every community in Nunavut, usually at the hamlet office. Refer to the contact information in Appendix C to find the EDO in your community.

Article 24 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement states: “The Government of Canada and the Territorial Government shall provide reasonable support and assistance to Inuit firms in accordance with this Article to enable them to compete for government contracts.” Firms that qualify under Article 24 are found on the NTI Inuit Firm Registry.

Hiring staff to do work that you, as the business owner, can do, adds to your cost, and reduces your profit. Pay yourself first and only hire when your business operations require the additional employees.

Developing a marketing strategy can allow a business to concentrate its limited resources on the best opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

We all know about Inuit ideas that became the basis for profitable businesses for others, for example kayaks and clothing designs. Businesses can use trademarks and patents to secure their intellectual property. For more information, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office online:

Your business plan will become outdated as your business changes and grows. Be sure to keep it up-to-date. This is important if you need more financing for a planned expansion, but it’s also a good way to analyze your successes and difficulties, and adapt your goals based on what you’ve learned.