Thirty-five years and counting

Logan Freese (left), general manager Elaine Chambers and Donna Moore, manager, business services, accept the Startup Canada Award for Entrepreneurial Support for 2018/19

For more than the past three decades, Däna Näye Ventures has helped Yukon businesses succeed. Now, on the eve of the organization’s 35th anniversary, it has been honoured by Startup Canada for its entrepreneurial efforts. 

“We had the great privilege of receiving the Startup Canada Award for Entrepreneurial Support for our efforts in 2018/19,” said Logan Freese, Däna Näye Ventures manager of financial services. “This is awarded to an individual or organization that provides the highest level of support and care for its clients. It was an amazing honour to be recognized as being the regional winner and to have been in contention for the national award.” 

Although Däna Näye didn’t bring home the national award, Freese stresses that having its efforts recognized on the national scale was still amazing. Däna Näye is an aboriginally-controlled financial institution that can provide business financing, advisory, and support and training services, as well as funding support to all Yukon and Northern British Columbia-based entrepreneurs. 

“Däna Näye is able to provide support to entrepreneurs at any stage of their business whether it be startup, expansion, acquisition or even sun-setting or selling their business,” said Freese. “These opportunities can range from small-scale start-ups, or hobby businesses up to large development or infrastructure projects. “Our financing programs cover everything from a startup microloan for $3,000 to very large lending projects which have run into the millions of dollars.”

Däna Näye’s ability to be flexible by providing creative financing options for a variety of businesses over time has allowed Däna Näye to remain a key player in the Yukon.

“Some of our greatest successes have been in providing financing options to businesses that would not have been able to access financing elsewhere,” said Freese. “A lot of these businesses have gone on to become great successes and valuable and contributing members of the Yukon economy. These businesses have ranged from small individual startups, to acquisitions of existing businesses, to large development corporations that were recovering from past mismanagement. It has always been a point of pride for our entire organization, from front-line staff on up to board of directors and members, to be able to go to local businesses across the territory and know that they have played some part in that business’ success.”

Moving forward, Däna Näye hopes to continue to grow its programs and services to be able to better serve its clients and the Yukon entrepreneurial system as a whole. This growth will include seeking out new opportunities to expand its scope with new funding and financing programs, training projects, course development and partnering opportunities. 

“One of the biggest and most exciting new projects that we have on the go is the development of providing a mortgage lending system that is available to Yukon residents for First Nation settlement lands that are to be leased and developed (Category A/B settlement land),” said Freese. “This new project will hopefully alleviate some of the financial constraints and burdens that current mortgaging programs have on the First Nations entities themselves and allow individual proponents leasing the lands a chance to build equity into their own home.”

For those interested in getting involved with Däna Näye Ventures, Freese said the company is always willing to take on new clients and that the easiest way to become a new client is to schedule an appointment to have a conversation to find out just how Däna Näye can help. “Even if we aren’t able to provide the direct assistance, we’re always willing to help the best way that we can by acting as a referral agent or simply making an introduction to someone who can,” said Freese. “We always encourage those that are thinking about making the leap to entrepreneurship to come in and talk to us to find out as much information as possible to ensure that you’re making the right choice at the right time. There’s a lot to consider about being your own boss and we always want to make sure that those that are willing to take that risk are making the correct and informed decision about how to go about doing things the right way to better increase your odds of success.”

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