First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program

What is the First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program?

The First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program is a ten-year collaboration between Simon Fraser University and the RBC Foundation to support entrepreneurship in Indigenous communities.

The vision of the First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program is a decolonized economy created for and by Indigenous people alongside deep and meaningful partnerships.

The FPEAP contributes to this vision by cultivating deep, values aligned relationships with Indigenous led partners to co-create entrepreneurship programing that recognizes the whole individual, centering Indigenous wisdom and worldview.

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About the First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program

FPEAP’s process is to work in partnership with Indigenous led organizations to co-create entrepreneurship programs that will best serve their communities. This includes cohort and peer-based learning that centres Indigenous wisdom, the strengths of the entrepreneur, and community impact. 

The First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program is committed to the following goals: 

  • To design and deliver entrepreneurship programming with an Indigenous lens; upholding Indigenous knowledge and worldview.
  • To invest in Indigenous talent to strengthen the capacity of the Indigenous entrepreneurship ecosystem. 
  • To contribute thought leadership towards a new narrative of economic freedom and self determination through Indigenous entrepreneurship. 
  • To align the FPEAP with SFU’s broader reconciliation goals and contribute to the ongoing work of decolonizing the institution – in partnership with Beedie’s Indigenous Business Leadership programming, and the other Indigenous departments and programs at SFU.

Current programs

Fireweed Fellowship

The FPEAP has partnered with Raven Indigenous Capital Partners to co-create the design and delivery of the Fireweed Fellowship!

The Fireweed Fellowship is the first national accelerator program for Indigenous entrepreneurship in Canada. The program will consist of a 10-month-long, immersive, cohort-style fellowship program including distance subject-matter-expert sessions, entrepreneurial online group learning and leadership development. Additionally the program offers peer support, one-on-one coaching, mentorship, pro-bono professional services as well as investment-readiness learning.

This program is co-created with, and informed by, knowledge keepers, business leaders and an all Indigenous program team. Programming will examine alternative economic models and perspectives and will be guided by the inherent wisdom and deep knowing of our ancestors. We will explore the individual and cultural value of entrepreneurship with a decolonial lens, and celebrate the strength of Indigenous world-views.


Meet the RADIUS Team Behind the First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program

Candice Day

Program Manager

Candice is the manager of the RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program (FPEAP). This program works in partnership with Indigenous-led organizations to co-create entrepreneurship programming that will best serve their communities. The FPEAP is committed to delivering entrepreneurship programming with an Indigenous lens, upholding Indigenous knowledge and worldview. Candice believes that an economy that is dynamic, just, sustainable, and resilient is one that supports and is informed by the wisdom of Indigenous entrepreneurs. She wishes to centre this wisdom and strength within the FPEAP, and work with partners who do the same. Candice brings a background in social enterprise development within urban Indigenous organizations to her role, as well as an MBA in Social Enterprise Leadership from the University of Fredericton.

Candice is of Secwepemc, Chinese, and European ancestry. Growing up in northern BC has given her a deep appreciation for the wild parts of this province…and within herself 😉 She lives for exploring both while on her DRZ400.

Carnation Zhuwaki

Indigenous Business Stories Project Casewriter

Carnation is a native of Zimbabwe who came to Canada at the turn of the century. She has the privilege of serving and living in First Nations communities delivering health care services and capacity building as a Registered Nurse and a Band Administrator. Through both of these roles, she has witnessed the power of storytelling to heal, reprimand and motivate people. First Nations communities have traditional ways of knowing that are embedded in their culture and she believes it’s important to highlight these stories to decolonize dominant frameworks so that minority frameworks are also given the spotlight.

Carnation was drawn to RADIUS because of the principles that the organization upholds— they resonate with her passion for advocating for marginalized groups to have better access to services and equal community development. As a case writer, Carnation will bring exciting skills and experience to the RADIUS team, including a lifelong writing passion since grade school, her ease with writing academic papers since undergraduate studies, and her current studies as part of her MBA program.

During her limited leisure time, she enjoys listening to podcasts and TED Talks, watching period dramas, hiking, and making Jeff Bezos rich bargain hunting on Amazon.


Read About the First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program

The Lens of Language

Stories are sacred. They are a window into who we are as humans, how we connect, and how we change. At RADIUS, we’ve been thinking about stories of why we

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If you have questions about the FPEAP, contact Candice Day, Program Manager at


Making the First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program Possible