The COVID crisis has served as a profound reminder of just how much people benefit from face to face interaction whether that be a quick chat with strangers or an in-depth planning discussion with colleagues.
In-person learning is a vital component of the SFU Indigenous Business Leadership Executive MBA (IBL EMBA), designed primarily for mid-career Indigenous professionals from across Canada and delivered by the Beedie School of Business. Students travel to Vancouver to attend intensive in-class sessions for 20 to 45 days each year of the five-term program. This enables them to continue working while applying new theories and approaches to their own organizations and home communities.
Thanks to a generous gift from TD Insurance, Indigenous students who may face financial challenges associated with the program’s travel-related expenses will get support when it is safe for in-person classes to resume. The TD Insurance Indigenous Business Travel Fund aims to encourage full participation and student success in the IBL EMBA, and aligns with the company’s commitment to diversity and Indigenous social and economic development.
"SFU's Indigenous Business Leadership program not only helps to develop leaders, it also helps build strong mentors and role models for Indigenous communities,” says Anna Kavanagh, VP Affinity Market Group, TD Insurance. “We're proud to be able to support this unique program and assist with access to in-class study, particularly for Indigenous professionals in remote regions of Canada."
The IBL EMBA is the only accredited program in North America addressing Indigenous business, economic development and entrepreneurship. The program includes core concepts and knowledge covered in most MBA programs while recognizing and respecting that traditional knowledge, cultural protocols and history play a significant role in decision-making in Indigenous communities.
Participants are proven leaders who share a passion and background in Indigenous business development and Nation building through economic reconciliation. Learning as a cohort, they can build strong friendships and expand their network with people from different Nations, students and business representatives as well as other universities with Indigenous-focused business leadership programming and events.
Highly interactive classes, small group projects and ongoing communications with team members bolster the learning experience.
“This gift will encourage Indigenous students to participate in our one-of-a-kind program and provide students with essential travel funding to benefit from business education with an Indigenous lens,” says Andrew Gemino, Associate Dean, Graduate Programs at SFU Beedie. “We’re grateful to TD Insurance for creating the new TD Insurance Indigenous Business Travel Fund in support of Indigenous students at SFU.”
TD Insurance, part of the TD Bank Group, is a national leader in affinity marketing. The company has partnered with SFU to offer insurance savings and benefits through the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program to SFU faculty and staff since 1990 and to all SFU alumni since 1999. It also supports the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Outstanding Student Leadership Award and sponsors the SFU Alumni Association Annual General Meeting, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Awards and regional alumni events.
Through its TD Ready Commitment platform for corporate citizenship, TD Bank Group has generously invested in a number of SFU initiatives including the SFU Surrey—TD Community Engagement Centre and the TD Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching Award.