Leadership Values Exercise (Verbos & Humphries, 2013).

This exercise is designed to help students appreciate the value of traditional Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing and being. Students are instructed to analyse a paper detailing the causes of several failed ventures and describe how the leadership failed to live the 7 Sacred Teachings. Students should have a basic understanding of the 7 Sacred Teachings and an appreciation for Indigenous approaches to business and new venture creation. For more detailed instructions on evaluating deliverables, readers are referred to Verbos & Humphries, (2013).


  1. Assign Finkelstein’s (2004) “The habits of spectacularly unsuccessful executives” as a reading prior to class (Finkelstein, 2004).
  2. Provide students with a handout listing the 7 Sacred Teachings and a space beside each of the teachings where students can write. Ask students to individually fill in what they feel is the opposite of each teaching. This also works well using an online platform that constructs word clouds from the responses.
  3. Give students time to analyse the habits and behaviours described by Finkelstein (2004). Discuss this as a class and ask students to identify which teaching each habit is related to and where on a continuum between each teaching and its opposite the habit falls.


Verbos, A. & Humphries, M. (2013). A Native American Relational Ethic: An Indigenous Perspective on Teaching Human Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics. 123. 10.1007/s10551-013-1790-3.

Finkelstein, S. (2004). The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives. Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved from: https://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/the-seven-habits-of-spectacularly-unsuccessful-executives/

Compare and Contrast – Dragons’ Den

Teaching Instructions

This exercise gives students an opportunity to identify how Indigenous entrepreneurship differs from more mainstream approaches to business and new venture creation. This activity was designed for small groups to complete remotely, but could also be assigned individually. Students are asked to compare and contrast several Dragons’ Den pitches and explain how pitches made by Indigenous entrepreneurs differ from the non-Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Students should have a basic understanding of the differences between social entrepreneurship, mainstream (or traditional) entrepreneurship and Indigenous entrepreneurship. Students should also have a basic understanding of Indigenous culture and worldviews, the value of Indigenous approaches to entrepreneurship, and the principles guiding entrepreneurial efforts in many Indigenous communities today.

Student Instructions

I)   Watch the following videos from CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Non-Indigenous Entrepreneurs

II) Answer the following questions

  1. How are the pitches similar?
  2. What differences do you see between the pitches from Indigenous entrepreneurs and those from non-Indigenous entrepreneurs?
  3. How are the 7 Sacred Teachings represented?


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Indigenous Entrepreneurship Copyright © 2022 by Michael Mihalicz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *