Steel River Entrepreneur Challenge

Steel River Entrepreneur Challenge Postponed

Due to continued complications and national struggles with COVID-19 and variants, we have postponed the Steel River Entrepreneur Challenge for 2021.


Please stay tuned for some exciting announcements and opportunities surrounding this event in the upcoming months.

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This is an opportunity for the Artists, Social Groups, and Entrepreneurs of our Ecosystem to share their talents, skills, and ideas to flourish and grow. Broken down into three distinguished categories, Cultural, Social, and Economic, these awards represent the key foundational pillars Steel River Group champions for all partners.



The cultural category is for those that think outside of the box.  The beauty of life is experienced through a lens that isn’t numbers and profit.  The entrepreneurs in the cultural category are creators, visionaries, and storytellers, and include artists of every medium: carvers, painters, beaders, writers, and knowledge keepers.



The social category is for those who want to give back, create positive and lasting change, and support their community. Visionaries in this category are creating charities, not for profits, social enterprises, or community giving.



The economic category is for revenue-driven, for-profit entrepreneurs that want to make an impact in construction, the trades, manufacturing, restaurants, or an online business, to name a few.  Revenue and job creation is the force behind this category.


Entrepreneur visionaries are encouraged to submit an idea in the form of a business plan through Steel River Group’s online email portal, or through the designated community representative, where it will be scored by a panel of judges, including Steel River Group’s Founder and CEO Trent Fequet.


The chosen Indigenous entrepreneurs will be personally invited and recognized for their unique business vision at the first annual Steel River Entrepreneur Summit. Taking place in October of 2021, the summit will include a full day of Indigenous entrepreneurship learnings, sharing, and networking within the Steel River Ecosystem, culminating with a gala event.

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With Steel River Group’s underlying mandate of driving employment for Indigenous peoples, this challenge looks to celebrate those individuals who exemplify the creation of Indigenous-led business, as Steel River Group believes that entrepreneurship generates positive social, cultural, and economic change.

Important Dates

Challenge Opens


Challenge Closes


Judging and Evaluation


Winners Announced


Entrepreneur Summit & Winner Recognition


Challenge Announcement


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Steel River Entrepreneur Challenge?

Steel River Group is excited to announce a new initiative celebrating and supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship and opportunity creation – The Steel River Indigenous Entrepreneur Challenge. Steel River Ecosystem partnering community members are encouraged to submit a business plan in one of the three categories where they can win cash prizing, mentorship, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Steel River Entrepreneur Summit. This challenge looks to celebrate those individuals who exemplify the creation of Indigenous-led business.

How Will the Challenge be Judged?

A panel of 6 judges, including Steel River Group's founder and CEO, Trent Fequet will be reviewing the submissions from each category. Each submission will be scored on the feasibility of the business or social enterprise idea, uniqueness of the product, good or service, and the future of the endeavor or project being successful.

The more detailed business plans the better! We cannot wait to hear about your idea or product! You are the expert at your business or social initiative! Please tell us everything about it!


Who Can Enter?

Steel River Group partnering Indigenous Nations, governments, and group members.

What are the prizes?

$10,000 cash, business mentorship, access to the Stee River Ecosystem, and an all-expenses paid trip to the Steel River Entrepreneur Summit in Calgary, Alberta for you and another guest.

Which Category is Right for Me?

The Steel River Entrepreneur Challenge will be broken down into 3 categories.  These 3 categories will reflect the foundational pillars that Steel River Group incorporates into relationships of understanding with Indigenous communities across Canada.

What is the deadline to enter?

August 9, 2021

What Should a Business Plan Include?

Please use the template provided by the community representative or available online at the Steel River Entrepreneur Challenge site.

When do winners receive their prizes?

October 15, 2021

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