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Aboriginal Business Canada Client Satisfaction

Subject Matter

Aboriginal Business Canada (ABC) wanted to undertake a survey to explore the needs and perceptions of their clients. ABC provides support, including financing, to individuals of Canadian Indian, Métis, or Inuit heritage, or majority-owned Aboriginal organizations or development corporations, to strengthen their competitiveness. This research consisted of qualitative and quantitative components. The purpose of this research was to enable ABC management to better understand client perceptions of ABC service, including the key factors that drive client satisfaction, and to put in place a baseline measure of client satisfaction to support future tracking.


Phase I of the research took the form of 25 in-depth phone interviews with different types of clients, including those that were successful and unsuccessful in their applications for funding to ABC. Interviews with successful applicants included those who dealt directly with ABC and those who went through an External Delivery Organization (EXDO). All interviews were conducted in the language of choice of the respondent, and lasted 40-50 minutes. The discussion guide used for the interviews was semi-structured in approach in order to generate in-depth, qualitative feedback. Interviews were distributed across the country, including rural and remote locations. Potential participants were informed of the research through a background letter provided to them on ABC letterhead (as required)..

In Phase II of the research, 494 interviews were completed by telephone. While some clients dealt directly with ABC, others accessed ABC funding through a third party EXDO. Four hundred interviews were conducted with successful applicants and 94 with unsuccessful applicants. The ‘successful applicant’ data were weighted to accurately reflect the ABC population of successful applicants in proportion to their distribution in Canada. There was no standard way of reporting unsuccessful applications across the country, so the corresponding data were not weighted. ABC provided an electronic list of clients that included Aboriginal businesses that had applications accepted or rejected in the previous 24 months. ABC clients that had participated in other studies within the previous three years were removed from the datafile. A pre-test was conducted in both official languages (15 in English, 15 in French). The same questionnaire was used with successful and unsuccessful applicants although there were modifications to address issues unique to each group. The margin of error on a sample this size is +/- 3.7%, 19 times out of 20 (finite population factor applied).

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