By Trevor Greyeyes
Keith Hill has been an individual First Nation entrepreneur here in Winnipeg and his latest enterprise sees him moving excess doors, both indoor and outdoor.
For him, he’s been self supporting for well over 20 years now.
“I was into home renovations but now I am into sales and moving excess products that perhaps a company either overbought or had a project cancelled,” said Hill.
Hill counts Waywayseecappo First Nation as his home community.
The doors he is selling were originally manufactured in China and Hill says they’re higher in quality than what is available in the big box stores.
Last month, the Southern Chiefs Organization hosted a one-day conference that was looking at Economic Reconciliation but most of the focus was on individual First Nations, tribal councils and other entities buying into or starting large companies with a trickle-down benefit of jobs for First Nations people and economic benefit for the communities.
However, as with most trickle-down schemes, money and benefits really don’t trickle that far down.
Hill is not aligned with any First Nation community, organization or economic development council which makes life a little bit harder for him at times.
Real wealth is generated from individuals developing the means for independent people like Hill, and even myself, having successful businesses.
Here’s a quick statistic that I found on the Government of Canada website about the contributions of small businesses to the economy:
“In 2019, small businesses contributed 36.7% to gross domestic product (GDP) generated by the private sector, while the contribution of medium-sized businesses was 13.7% and the contribution of large businesses was 49.6%.”
By contrast, only 6.9 % of First Nations people operate a small business.
And here’s something from the Made in Canada website:
“A vast majority of Canadian businesses are small. In 2020, 97.9% of all businesses in Canada were small businesses including those classified as micro businesses. That percentage represents 1.19 million out of the 1.21 million employer businesses in Canada. Only 0.2% were large businesses, while 1.9% were medium-sized.”
So, Hill is out there hard at work using his people skills to sell doors.
Hill said, “Yeah, as someone who did home renovations for a living, I do know a thing or two about installing doors.”
Hill can be reached at 431 554-9752.