Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Introduces New Executive Director and Initiatives for 2013
by Scott A. Sumner
The Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) has introduced Brian Davey as the new Executive Director of the organization. Brian previously worked as NADF’s Special Initiatives Advisor, and has a very strong background in economic and business development. “ We are pleased to have someone lead our organization of such a high calibre,” said NADF Board Chair Arlene Meekis. “ Brian brings many talents to our team, having spent the last 30 years working on First Nation issues in both the private and public sector as an independent business person and in senior management positions. He also served six years as Deputy Grand Chief for Nishnawbe Aski Nation.”
“ The Fund has been around for 22 years and has disbursed $30 million in loans, created 2000 jobs and maintained 545 businesses with funding. Our job is to continues to do that kind of business. We want to create wealth and prosperity in our communities, that is what we are all about. Our primary purpose is to create wealth and prosperity in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation,” said Brian Davey. “ We do this through providing loans and business advisory services including business support with business plans, some equity financing and administering some of the government programs. We are more tolerant of risk and fund small and medium businesses. A goal we have is to establish as equity fund to help business access the loans.”
“ My goal is to grow our organization from a $30 million asset base to $60 million in 5 or 6 years. We need to make strong gains in taking advantage of the pending opportunities particularly as is related to mining. NADF needs to do what we can to be a part of the overall business development. Most of our work is in the business opportunity side. We want to strengthen the relationships with First Nations business and others.” said Davey.
Currently the NADF has a staff of 15 and are hoping to more than double that to 30 in the upcoming months. “ The government is looking to us to develop capacity and promote the climate of entrepreneurship. We want to provide better opportunities for our youth including at the Ring of Fire. We need to gear up and get into overdrive.” noted Davey. “ We give advice on what we can do for the client. It could be a young entrepreneur who has an idea. We look at management with some experience, a track record and committed customers and if they have done it before. We can help in expanding their markets. Our focus is small and medium business but there are larger projects coming on stream as well. We could get a number of First Nations involved and help in these projects.”