Program credential icon Credential

  • Certificate

Program location icon Location Offered

  • Nanaimo

Do you dream of starting your own business or providing leadership in Indigenous community development? VIU’s Business Fundamentals for Indigenous Communities certificate program provides a great introduction to business, from principles of management to marketing and economics, with a focus on Indigenous 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 Indigenous 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 Indigenous individuals who want to work with First Nations' Communities in business, social and economic development. Non-Indigenous 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 1Credits
Fall Semester 
ILRP 100 - (Indigenous Learning and Recognition Portfolio)3
MGMT 192 - (Principles of Management)3
ENGL 117 - (University Writing & Research: Indigenous Focus)3
MARK 160 - (Introduction to Marketing)3
QUME 100 - (Quantitative Foundations for Business)3
Spring Semester 

One of:

ECON 100 - (Intro to Economics)

ECON 211 - (Principles of Microeconomic Theory)

ECON 212 - (Principles of Macroeconomic Theory)

ACCT 100 - (Financial Accounting I)3
MGMT 161 - (Indigenous Leadership)3
MGMT 181 - (Indigenous Entrepreneurship)3
MGMT 261 - (Indigenous Values in Business)3
Total Credits30


Note: Subject to course pre‐requisite requirements, the order of the courses may vary depending on community needs. Some of the courses may be delivered in a more condensed format with others in a traditional semester‐long format.  

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.

  • General admission requirements apply.
  • One of Pre-Calculus 11, Foundations of Mathematics 11, Computer Science 11, or Computer Science 12 with a minimum “C” grade (or equivalent).


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 Amount
Tuition (30 credits x $237.71 per credit) 7,131.30
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition) 285.25
Student Services fee (30 credits x $7.35 per credit) 220.50
VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $27.60 per month) 220.80
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00

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 VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options
Next Intake(s):

The Business Fundamentals for Indigenous Communities has two program start dates: one in September and one in January.

Application Fee:
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Helene Viau
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2040
Chair Contact:
Name: Dr. Patricia Brown
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2887
Document Deadline:
  • For September start, document deadline is August 15.
  • for January start, document deadline is December 15.

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.