Supporting Place Based SMEs in the Rural Yukon in Post Pandemic Environment

The project Supporting Place-based SMEs in the Rural Yukon in the Post-Pandemic Environment responds to the realities of the pandemic on this sector in the region.

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The project seeks to support the monetization of land-based activities for SME’s in rural Yukon, as well as to enhance relationships with existing SME’s in the rural region of the territory. The project was rooted in two key factors: first, that those employed outside government typically engage in land based entrepreneurship activities were overwhelmingly impacted by COVID measures, specifically business shut-downs and limitations on tourism; and, historically, such SMEs have not been supported by operations succession, sustainability or viability planning, and as such were especially vulnerable during the pandemic.

Having identified these two priority programming and outreach areas, the project offered enhanced entrepreneurial training embedded within existing skills and technical training in the land-based sector, delivered in collaboration with the Yukon First Nation governments. Similarly, the project supports the enhancement of relationships with existing rural Yukon SMEs by providing on-site or community based support addressing knowledge gaps, operational efficiencies, capacity building, diversification, and future-oriented planning. Other anticipated outcomes of the project include the development of a land-based workforce training programs (land, fish, wildlife), the creation of a one-year certificate program in Northern Outdoor Leadership, and creation of apprenticeship support for long-term professional skill development for emerging Indigenous land-based leaders.

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