Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Key Risks: things that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results


Key risks and opportunities
Risks Risk response strategy Link to the Department’s Programs Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities
Lack of capacity and core skills for Indigenous entrepreneurs to develop businesses
  • Provide business advisory and training services to Indigenous peoples through the Aboriginal Business Service Network, Community Futures organizations, and Canada Business Network.
  • Make investments in targeted and market driven skills development under the Western Diversification Program.


  • Value and # of projects funded in support of Indigenous Economic Growth
  • # of Indigenous clients served

1.1 Business Development and Innovation

1.2 Community Economic Growth

  • Inclusive economic growth
  • Job growth
Changes in demand for new technologies, including clean technology, in Canada and internationally
  • Undertake research on demand for new technologies, in particular, clean technology.
  • Ensure demand side information is shared with innovation community.
  • Assess innovation project applications for marketplace demand for new technology or product.


  • # of research products
  • # of for-profit and # of not-for-profit organizations with which information is shared
  • % of innovation project applications that include assessment of market demand for new technology or product.

1.1 Business Development and Innovation

1.3 Policy, Advocacy and Coordination

  • Innovation Agenda
  • Accelerated Growth Service
  • Clean technology

WD’s experience with Indigenous programming suggests that specific skills shortages exist in areas such as financial literacy. This capacity gap may present challenges to WD’s efforts to improve Indigenous workforce participation and to increase successful Indigenous entrepreneurship. Complicating this, many Indigenous people live in remote communities, with more limited access to existing training opportunities and services. To mitigate these risks, WD will assess proposals for funding for Indigenous development projects with a view to how well they address these barriers.

Historically, WD has supported innovation with a focus on the quality of ideas and products.  The risk with this approach is that failure to fully assess demand may lead to market failure if innovators are producing good solutions for problems people are not willing to pay to solve.  For this reason, WD will conduct and share research on marketplace demand for new technologies in Canada and globally. This will help western Canadian businesses to take advantage of new market-driven opportunities. WD will evaluate the demand for new technologies or products as part of the assessment of innovation funding applications.