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Case Studies in Aboriginal Business pdf

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Case Studies in Aboriginal Business
The Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies wasestablished at Cape Breton University in 2010 in response toAboriginal community leaders’ expression of the need forentrepreneurship, business investment, and corporate skillstraining for the purpose of creating a model of self-reliance.Named in honour of Canadian lawyer and corporate boardroomleader, the late Mr. Purdy Crawford, the Chair aims to promoteinterest among Canada’s Aboriginal people in the study of businessat the post-secondary level.The Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies focusesits work in four areas:Research on what “drives” success in Aboriginal BusinessNational student recruitment in the area of post-secondaryAboriginal business educationEnhancement of the post-secondary Aboriginal business curriculumMentorship at high school and post-secondary levelsMeaningful self-government and economicself-sufficiency provide the cornerstone ofsustainable communities. My wish is toenhance First Nations post-secondaryeducation and research to allow forthe promotion and developmentof national Aboriginal businesspractices and enterprises.”Purdy Crawford, C. C.(1931-2014)Purdy Crawford Chair inAboriginal Business StudiesShannon School of BusinessCape Breton University1250 Grand Lake Rd, Box 5300Sydney, NS B1P 6L2©2015www.cbu.ca/crawford
Manitobah Mukluks by Ken Medd 1MANITOBAH MUKLUKSIn 2008, Sean McCormick, the owner of Manitobah Mukluks, had to decide whether toadd a rubber outsole to the Aboriginal mukluks his firm manufactured. The changecould expand his market and the rewards could be substantial if the mukluks were stillconsidered Aboriginal and remained popular. However, if the change was not wellreceived, his brand could be ruined.BACKGROUNDSean McCormick, a Métis entrepreneur and business owner, was brought up inWinnipeg, Manitoba. His mother’s family was from northern Manitoba and,consequently, Sean spent a lot of time in the north. He began wearing mukluks in hischildhood. As a young man in the early 1990s, he worked in a tannery that producedleather and furs. He established a trading centre at the tannery and began exchangingfinished leathers and furs for mukluks and moccasins that women in the neighbouringFirst Nation communities made by hand. He resold the mukluks and moccasins to otherretailers.Under that business model, Sean was not able to establish a proper inventory. Herarely had sufficient quantities of products in the right sizes to meet the demands ofretailers. It occurred to him that the inventory issue could be solved if the mukluks andmoccasins were manufactured on a larger scale in a factory setting. Sean enrolled inthe Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Training program, where he learnedthe fundamentals of operating a business and completed courses in marketing,accounting, and other disciplines. Preparing a business plan was a key element of theprogram and Sean’s plan concerned his new business venture. In 1996, Sean took hisbusiness plan to the banks and obtained the financing he needed to start his business.In 1997, Sean’s business began producing traditional-style Aboriginal mukluks in amodern factory setting. The manufacturing process employed sewing machines andfactory-tanned hides, but the mukluks retained leather soles and were difficult todistinguish from their handmade counterparts. At the outset, he sold the mukluksmainly to gift shops, souvenir shops, and trading posts. As the business grew and Seanmatured as an entrepreneur, he came to understand the potential and power that camefrom having a recognized brand.HIGH FASHION AND POPULAR CULTUREA Canadian business woman who worked in England visited Alberta in 2004 andbought some of Sean’s mukluks at a gift shop in Banff. She took them back to England
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