Students of the Business Fundamentals for Aboriginal Communities Certificate program at their convocation after completing their principles of management courses successfully

Business Fundamentals for Aboriginal Communities

  • Credential 

Do you dream of starting your own business, or providing leadership in Indigenous community development? VIU’s Business Fundamentals for Aboriginal Communities certificate program provides a great introduction to business, from principles of management to marketing and economics, with a focus on Aboriginal businesses.

This business fundamentals certificate can be used to progress towards a Bachelor of Business Administration degree or other academic credentials. If being your own boss, working for an economic development corporation, or promoting economic development in your community appeals to you, this program is for you.

The Business Fundamentals for Aboriginal Communities Program

The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity for students to obtain the fundamental accounting, economic, marketing and managerial skills that are the foundation needed to support strong business and community leaders. This cohort-based program will appeal to Aboriginal individuals who want to work with First Nations' Communities in business, social and economic development. Non-aboriginal individuals who work closely with First Nations' communities will also be considered. These transferable courses can be used to progress towards a Bachelor of Business Administration or other academic credentials.

The program will be taught on a modular basis and support will be provided to students by Elders and peer tutors.

Year 1


Fall Semester


UNIV 101 - (Student Success) or ILRP 100 - (Indigenous Learning and Recognition Portfolio)


MGMT 100 - (Intro to Business)


MGMT 192 - (Principles of Management)


MATH 151 - (Introductory College Algebra I)


Spring Semester


MARK 160 - (Introduction to Marketing)


ECON 100 - (Intro to Economics)


ACCT 100 - (Financial Accounting I)


ENGL 115 - (University Writing and Research)


Total Credits


Completion Requirements

Grades for individual courses are awarded as described in the Grading Scale section of this Calendar.

GPA requirements:
Students will require a minimum grade point average a "C" (2.0) for the required courses in order to be awarded the certificate. A minimum of a "C" in MATH 151 will be required to ladder into other business programs and individual course prerequisites as per the course calendar are required.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
  • General admission requirements apply including a minimum “C+” grade in one of Principles of Mathematics 11, Pre-calculus 11, Applications of Mathematics 12, or Foundations of Mathematics 12; or a pass in Pre-calculus 12 or Principles of Mathematics 12; or equivalent.

Notes on Admission

  • This program will appeal to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students who want to work with First Nations' communities.
  • Consideration will be given to mature students without grade 12; however, prerequisites or equivalents must be completed before applying.
  • Prior Learning Assessment opportunities exist for applicants who have post-secondary educational experience from applied technology programs, and/or who have applied experience from the workplace. For example, applicants who have financial experience could successfully challenge the introductory financial accounting course, ACCT 100.
  • Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.
  • Full-time only, not part-time studies.

Transfer from other Institutions

The intent of this program is to form a cohort of students. Prior learning assessment as well as transfer credits up to the institutional residency requirements of 50% of the program would be considered on a student by student basis.

Students will earn a Business Fundamentals for Aboriginal Communities Certificate. This can be a stand-alone credential or laddered towards further credentials such as a Bachelor of Business Administration.

This program will prepare students to do the following:

  • Work in local economic development corporations
  • Develop new entrepreneurial ventures and business opportunities within and for the community
  • Gain employment in existing business operations
  • Work in local government administration
  • Promote entrepreneurial activity in the community
  • Liaise with business, community, and government representatives concerning business and economic development opportunities in the community

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees for One Year


Tuition (24 credits x $224.00 per credit)


Student Activity fee (4% of tuition)


VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $20.90 per month)


Health and Dental Plan fee ($275.00 per year)





Textbook costs will range from $500 - $800.

There may be additional travel and accommodation fees for field trips. Students will require access to computers, printers, and the Internet.

The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full-time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The program starts in September. Applications are accepted between the first business day in October, and March 31.

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Testing Required
Coordinator Contact

Name: Maureen Thomas
Phone: 250-667-5333


For information about this program please contact Maureen Thomas directly.

For information on any previous versions please check our Program Archive Page.