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Empowering Northern Canada’s Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Using evaluation strategy to demonstrate the impact EntrepreNorth has on entrepreneurs in the North.

EntrepreNorth helps Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs across the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut thrive within their communities. Successful Indigenous businesses have the potential to drive prosperity and social change, leading to greater self-determination and sustainability. EntrepreNorth’s innovative development program brings cohorts of entrepreneurs together to help them overcome barriers to building a successful business in the North, such as high costs, small markets, a lack of mentors and networking opportunities, and a growing digital divide.

The Challenge

EntrepreNorth was created as part of a broader initiative from Tides Canada (now MakeWay). A year into its operation, it was time to take ownership of the business strategy. They needed a strategy tailored to their needs (and those of the participants), and that reflected the learning from the past year. 

The team was also wrestling with how best to measure goals and success, and reporting to funders was yet another challenge. The three original funders had overlapping and similar – but not similar enough – requirements, and the organization didn’t want to use up valuable (and limited) capacity on a time-consuming, inefficient reporting process.

EntrepreNorth’s leadership team reached out to the team at Junxion to help develop an evaluation strategy to capture the learning from running the first cohort.

How We Helped

Our approach to impact measurement aligns with five fundamental practices: plan your change, collect useful information, use performance measures, gauge performance and impact, and report on results.

With their management team, we created a Theory of Change and outcomes map showing how EntrepreNorth impacts on entrepreneurs, their businesses and the North.

Example of a Theory of Change outcomes map

We reconciled three different funding mechanisms into a single process to streamline the gathering of information from participants, and equipped EntrepreNorth to demonstrate to funders how this increased the program’s impact.

We also facilitated a one-day strategy workshop with the EntrepreNorth senior management to review and refresh the program strategy to reflect the past year’s learning.

Measuring Success

Having a Theory of Change and robust evaluation strategy in place has significantly reduced the time that management must devote to producing reports for existing funders and applying for new funding.

This has allowed EntrepreNorth to provide their funders with better information about the impact of their funding, increasing the likelihood of new or enhanced funding in the future.

Empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses across Northern Canada.

Greater clarity on what to measure (and why) has made it easier to recognize the connection between activities and outcomes, and to make evidence-based decisions.

Thanks to Junxion's evaluation strategy, we’re confidently measuring what’s significant and impactful, with a clear relationship between activities and outcomes. We’re providing funders with useful information about the impact of their funding, which bodes well for future funding.

– Benjamin ScottProgram Director, EntrepreNorth
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If you are eager to map your outcomes, measure your impact and report effectively then get in touch.