.. .no one will pay me salary only because I am Saami, I need to earn money myself…
Indigee participant Neeta Inari Jääskö, 25 år fra Inari, Finland

…the strategies one uses to live and work in and off the nature, are also viable in business…
Indigee participant Anne Wuolab, Lycksele, Sweden

The project for young indigenous entrepreneurs is in full motion!

The Indigee project is now ongoing and the first gathering has been held. It was arranged in Vilhelmina, Sweden on 25-27 November 2010. The conference gathered almost 40 young indigenous entrepreneurs from the whole Barents region – Saami, Komi, Veps and Nenets. Several workshops and exercises on trademark, identity, core values and other issues and discussions about the participants’ business ideas were held during the three days of conference. Through personal business counseling, inspirational lectures and group work the participants got a stronger foundation to build on for their business development. They also got to know each other and each others’ indigenous cultures during two spontaneous culture evenings.
During the last day each participant worked on a personal development plan. It defines concrete goals and activities that each participant shall achieve during their participation in the Indigee project. Already now the work has started with personal counselling to keep the participants active and focused on their personal goals until the next conference which will be arranged in northern Finland in March 2011.


Busines adviser in Norway has joined the project

LindaOverliJensen_newsletter.jpgLinda Øverli Nilsen from Kautokeino, Norway, has joined the Indigee project as business adviser/coordinator for the Norwegian businesses. She is herself an entrepreneur and she says that her experiences as a young entrepreneur will be useful. – I think that Indigee is an exciting and definitely an important project for new development and creation in Saami and other indigenous areas in the Barents region, Øverli Nilsen says. She is also impressed by the diversity among the businesses participating in the Indigee project. – It bodes well for the future.

Exchange of experience cross the borders

The advisers and coordinators from the different countries of the project already see the value of exchange of experience cross the borders. Sweden has very good information pages for entrepreneurs that offer a useful overview of the information – everything is gathered on one place –super easy to find what you are looking for, says Linda Øverli Nilsen. Pia Huuva, business adviser from Sweden, says that the Norwegian entrepreneurs are privileged with good possibilities to get grants and support early on in the establishing phase. Huuva also thinks that the exchange of experience among the advisers and coordinators is important for the entrepreneurship and business development in the Barents region. – We can learn from each other.
Are you an indigee?
Now Indigee is looking for more entrepreneurs and early business establishers in Norway and Finland that wish to participate in the project. – You don’t have to have an established business, a good idea and a wish to realize it is enough. – With the Indigee project we hope to give you and your idea or business some support on the way with business counseling, inspirational lectures and a valuable cross-border network , says project leader Lars Miguel Utsi.

Facts about Indigee

The Indigee project was initiated by the IBS with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. It has the full support of the BEAC Working Group of the Indigenous Peoples (WGIP) and is in full compliance with the Action Plan of Indigenous Peoples 2009-2012 adopted by WGIP in January 2009.
IBS has run the IE pre-project and has together with the other partners prepared the main project.
The project aims to develop entrepreneurship among indigenous youth in the Barents region. The participating entrepreneurs should have enterprises or business ideas closely related to indigenous culture and traditions. Possible enterprises are within reindeer herding, handicraft, fishing and hunting, but also newer areas of business such as tourism, modern design, photography etc.
The project aims to increase business enterprises, employment and cross-border cooperation among indigenous youth and to establish a network for young indigenous entrepreneurs in the Barents region

Project partners

Indigee – short for Indigenous Entrepreneurship (IE) – is a project ran by the Saami Association of Sweden (SSR), the Norwegian Saami Association (NSR), the Saami Association of Finland (SSG) and the International Barents Secretariat (IBS).


The Indigee project is financed by Interreg IVA Nord, Nordic Council of Ministers, Norwegian Barents Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Regional funding has been granted by Nordland, Troms and Finnmark county councils, Norrbotten county council, Region Västerbotten, the Saami parliaments of Norway and Sweden and the Saami Council.

For more information

Check out www.indigee.org  

Or contact  Lars Miguel Utsi
Project leader